The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2005 - issue > Technology

Web 2.0:Connectedness, sharing and the social

Sunil Singh
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Sunil Singh
There is an interesting effect that is very perceptible, particularly in the insular world of the Silicon Valley called the “Google effect.” What started as a search engine seems to have become the Internet’s biggest phenomenon.

The “Google effect” refers to the ecosystem that is springing up around new ways to use the Internet or to enhance the user experience on the internet, driven by the success (and cash) of Google. There are both interesting and ominous signs in this “second coming of the Internet” or Web 2.0, as it is popularly referred to. The interesting aspects lie in the innovative tools developed by companies that empower users like me to “connect, share and collaborate” on the Internet.

The key to success is an accurate and mature business model. Venture capital groups that readily invest in them, are bristling with unbridled optimism—the mantra is “Don’t worry about revenue, get a large number of users using your service/tools”—for free, mostly. Isn’t that what we heard in the 90s? There is a subtle difference, of course. Google is heading along a trajectory that is bound to collide with Yahoo!—which means both companies are likely to be in an acquisitive mode, for any tools or service that can help retain or add users—a fact not lost among entrepreneurs or investors.

The first wave of the Internet created a gold rush as spectacular in its meteoric rise as it was in the dot com bust that followed.

However, when the dust settled, there were some true survivors that have continued to build successful “pure Internet” businesses. Google is a search engine (though that’s quickly changing as Google attempts to chart a strategy for growth and domination), Yahoo! as a portal, eBay as a person-to-person commerce enabler and Amazon as the retailer are all firmly established, profitable companies with healthy market caps.

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