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Web 2.0 & Bootstrapping

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 20th 2007

Peter Rip wants to puncture the web 2.0 bubble. In truth, the web 2.0 phase has been a boon for entrepreneurs, not necessarily for VCs. And now, is it surprising to see a VC crying: grapes are sour?

I just wrote a piece called Is Bootstrapping Becoming Sexy Again? In this piece, I have explored the phenomenon that today, companies can be built quickly, for cheap, and without gobs of venture money, which comes with its own set of strings. Web 2.0 has offered the quintessential bootstrapping opportunity to entrepreneurs. On the contrary, it has offered very little to VCs (except the YouTube team, ofcourse).

Peter is right, that there isn’t a lot of innovation in web 2.0. That’s right, web 2.0 is not about innovation. It is about content and community. And web 3.0 will be about content, community, commerce, context, personalization and vertical search coming together. In that phase, the VCs may have a role to play, as either roll-ups would be required to buy a bunch of companies to stitch together each compelling category, or gobs of venture money would be required to build them from scratch.

Just an aside, on what the Symantic Web camp (Metaweb is getting a lot of press right now) would like web 3.0 to be … THEY want to provide the organizing principle of the web, including what I define above as web 3.0. In my opinion, it is not that simple, and no amount of automation would achieve the results of offering a compelling contextual solution to each category of human need that we use the web for.

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