Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bubble 2.0

I've been hearing and reading a lot about "Web 2.0" - and "Life 2.0" and all the hype about SaaS (Software as a Service), SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) etc. The more I look at it - the more it sounds like the same old concepts with a slightly new twist.

SaaS - used to be called ASP (Application Service Provider), SOA used to be called "web services", and Web 2.0 used to be called... ummm... web applications.

So what the hell?

I would submit that we're in a time that is much like the previous "dot com" bubble of 1999-2001. I'll call this "Bubble 2.0" - for lack of a better term.

This Bubble 2.0 claims to be the new and improved bubble - it's got a new name, and it's been cleaned up a little since 2000 - but it still has most of the cool features of the previous version: companies paying crazy prices for questionable businesses with no real profits (eBay purchase of Skype for $2.5 Billion, Google purchase of YouTube for $1.6 billion), companies with huge valuations compared with profits (Google at $425 per share, MySpace valuation at $10 billion), crazy sites popping up like mushrooms trying to be the "next big thing", etc.

Ahhhhh the good old days.

I mean "Web 2.0".... I mean "New Economy".... I mean "Web Economy"... I mean "same crap different year"...

This time the technology is a little better (Ajax is very cool - if you like being tied to a browser), the companies at least have some plans to be profitable at some point, but really, other than that - the concepts that are being floated are actually going BACKWARD.

I'm reading these "cutting edge" articles on how everywhere always connected lifestyles mean that we should have a "virtual" computer that would store our apps and data online so we can access it from any computer (or handheld, or watch phone, or iPod, or whatever).

I've seen this movie before. It's called "mainframes and dumb terminals."

The good news is - since everything old is becoming new again - I will make my own bold prediction: people will eschew the complexity of a graphical user interface, and will prefer a much easier method of input: typing. This will solve lots of problem - as people of all ages can be taught how to type, and without a pesky mouse or icons or windows - people won't get confused. There are 12 function keys - so there can only be 12 choices at once.

Now if I can only find my 5.5 inch, 125kb diskette with Apple Basic on it...

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