May 26, 2007
There has been lots of handwringing over the last 6 months ago about the Web 2.0 bubble and what will happen when it pops.
Even the king of Web 2.0 punditry (if you have to ask…) has bemoaned the current state of affairs — “times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks.”
Sure, there is an Internet bubble, some of the recent acquisitions have been at deliciously ridiculous valuations, and sure lots of the Web 2.0 features getting funded will never be viable businesses (or even nonviable businesses, for that matter).
But none of this changes the fact that, with our without the hype and silliness, there still is a very substantial wave of industry changing stuff building here.
If I had to bet — and I guess that is what I do for a living, after all — I would lay down that over the next 3-5 years there will be a handful of important new “platform” companies – in the true sense of the word – that emerge from the primordial goo we now call Web 2.0. Microsoft, Yahoo, and even Google all will face new challengers.
I only hope that some of my portfolio companies have a crack at this lofty goal.
Facebook clearly does, and its declaration this week that it is launching the Facebook Platform and allowing third party application developers deep access to its service and users, is brilliant. For links to the discussion go here.
Facebook clearly has reached critical mass, not just in terms of breadth of adoption but also in terms of depth of usage. And credit to them that they understand that this gives them the opportunity not just to be a site with massive traffic and therefore ad revenue, but more importantly to become a platform.
Check back in 3 years or so and I bet Facebook is one of those important platform companies.
MySpace will be where you go to watch 24.