Web 3.0…The ‘S’hock and ‘A’we Phase…Speed and Acceleration

Web 2.0 was for sissies.

If you built a web 2.0 company, you made some shekels, but who cares. Nobody was watching. If they were watching ( remember DIGG), people got bored.

Today, there is some ‘Hall of Fame’ execution going on. You should not worry about ‘traction’ and ‘lean’, you need speed, acceleration and a global footprint.

It is hard for a web entrepreneur not to have ‘web envy’ as one of your investors is a shareholder in Facebook, Zynga, Groupon, LinkedIn or Twitter and your silly growth chart in the board meetings is a fraction of the other guys.

It’s not just American web Companies either. Take a look at $SINA whose stock is a rocketship and a pretty pure play on Twitter. Some numbers:

It took Sina Weibo 66 days to reach it’s first million users and 177 days to the first 10 million, which achieved April 28, 2010. Since then the site has reached 100 million registered users it continues to grow at a breakneck pace.

The Web 1.0 phase was pretty amazing, but revenue was not on anyone’s mind. By the time you had revenue on your mind, you were cutting death spiral ‘Convertible Notes’ ( $AMZN ). You could only go so fast with Nokia bricks, land lines, cable to be laid and PC’s. It took a few weeks to get your business cards. There was no Facebook or Twitter.

Today, people are talking about a bubble because you raised $2 on a $5, you need 500,000 users to be taken seriously after the first year, you should have international demand, a chinese clone to legitmize you and a clear path to revenue.

The acceleration is happening at every aspect of the web 3.0 curve from launch to funding to A round to team and to partial liquidity.

What will bring down this phase is pure exhaustion as teams forget what it’s like to play ping pong, go on a bender or just enjoy the process. I talk about it all the time, but the pressure is intense. Not the pressure to start a company or get it funded, but the pressure from that moment on.

Our ‘win’ mentality is so wicked and cool, but we have taken it to new levels at the start-up web level that we won’t be able to sustain it and nurture it.

I am not bearish, just interested in the fallout and web 4.0 landscape that will quickly develop and what it will be called.

The Web 4.0 ‘Nesting and ‘Cuddling’ and ‘Giggles’ ?


      • Kai Lukoff says:

        Hi Howard, thanks for the link back to TechRice. In my day job at iChinaStock.com (StockTwits angel Bill Bishop is also an advisor) we’re starting to employ StockTwits to build community around our coverage of Chinese stocks trading in the US. But for the Chinese version of our site (imeigu.com) we’re working on integration with Sina Weibo.

  1. Peter Cranstone says:

    How about “pumping the brakes for a second”. Twitter has no real business model, FB has taken over a billion plus in funding and we’re back to counting numbers like it means something.

    How about we start with a new metric – “Measurable, Sustainable, Profitable Revenue from Volume”. Now lets use that lens on everyone of the companies that you mention above. Oops #fail for all of them (well not Amazon).

    As for these companies not going public – more BS. If they’re really generating the revenues they say they are, then there should be some profits in their somewhere. In the absence of profits then it remains a ponzi scheme to get more investors in on top while the smart money leaves the table via the “secondary market”.

    Seriously – there’s a new game in town now. Eyeballs and Secondary markets. It’s all about how those with the gold make the rules and then exit stage left before it all collapses. I really have no problem with this, as long as everyone knows the rules going in. Then it’s simply a matter of “game on” and the risk factor is simply your willingness to stay long enough before the price collapses.

    As for a bubble – Nope. All the risk is staying the pockets of the VC’s. So it’s really a game of musical chairs. All you need is some inside information, a startup with eyeballs and your “stake”.

    As for building a real business – well “not so much”.

  2. Mark Essel says:

    “you raised $2 on a $5, you need 500,000 users to be taken seriously after the first year, you should have international demand, a chinese clone to legitmize you and a clear path to revenue”
    Money quote.

  3. Bryan Migliorisi says:

    I think Web 2.0 was all about creating really cool, fun, interesting, and engaging apps. Web 3.0 is going to be all about using the massive amounts of data collected in the previous era to make those apps, and new ones, smarter and more useful.

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