Wheres the Magic

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2005-12-27 Print this article Print

?"> Even OReilly concedes that the Web didnt collapse with the dot-com market meltdown. The Web kept growing and evolving with hardly a blink as more people signed on every year. Successful Web companies such as such as Amazon.com, Yahoo, eBay, MapQuest, MSN and Google were prosperous concerns in 2001 and have only grown bigger since then.
Many of the companies that have since emerged as market leaders, such as CRM (customer relationship management) companies Salesforce.com, NetSuite and RightNow Technologies, got their start well before the dot-com meltdown.
Web business would have recovered; new technologies and business models would have emerged whether or not anybody coined the label Web 2.0. Some might say that in 2003, Web business and the IT industry needed some kind of marketing watchword to add momentum to the recovery from the 2001 recession. Web 2.0 was as good a label as any to get business rolling. Its vagueness was its greatest asset, because it was all inclusive. Everybody could jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon and everyone is making the leap. Click here to read Ryan Naraines analysis of why Yahoo survived the dot-com meltdown to become a Web 2.0 exemplar. But a rallying call to join Web 2.0 could also be an invitation to participate in Bubble 2.0. For every good idea in the market there may be two or three bad ideas that are dressed up to look like winners because they carry the approved Web 2.0 label. Every business cycle has its winners and losers. This one will be no different. The lesson that we should have learned from the last Web shakeout was that there is no magic or special sauce when it comes to the Web. The laws of economics are no different whether people are using a mouse to point and click to buy goods and services, or a pen to fill out an order from the old Sears catalog. AJAX, Ruby on Rails, RSS, wikis or any other reputed Web 2.0 technology wont make any business successful unless they are built into Web applications that work, are useful, make money and deliver value to customers. Every venture, no matter what technology it uses, has to be judged on its own merits, not because it carries some catchy label. John Pallatto is a veteran journalist in the field of enterprise software and Internet technology. He can be reached at john_pallatto@ziffdavis.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is eWEEK.com's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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