Yesterday afternoon, I headed up to San Francisco to attend the Business 2.0 Next Net 25 Roundtable. Billed as an open discussion among new company CEOs from their Next Net 25 list and other interested parties, the event was very well attended.

Om Malik and friends sat us down to discuss what's really new and interesting, both technology and business, in this new "Web 2.0 Bubble." Of course, several argued that this isn't a bubble at all, and I'm inclined to agree.

My main contribution was an attempt to get people to realize that a lot the most hyped companies have little to do with new technology and infrastructure. In fact, most of the companies are fairly easy to categorize based on their business models and where the money comes from.

  • technology/infrastructure/service companies who can charge for their services in various ways. Examples: Technorati, Eurekster, BrightCove, VOIP services, FeedBurner
  • transaction oriented companies who aggregate and connect various types of buyers and sellers in a marketplace or data-driven service (think real estate, jobs, travel, etc) and often take a cut of the sale. Examples: SimplyHired, Ether, Edgeio, FlySpy
  • content/community companies who aggregate a big group of people around interesting, entertaining, or useful content in one or more vertical markets and rely on advertising. Examples: Digg, RawSugar, Memeorandum

We had a couple hours of spirited debate, discussion, and drinks. The most entertaining comment of the day came from Om himself. Unfortunately, it was "off the record."

There's a batch of pictures up on Flickr. (They got me here and here.)

Thanks to the folks up at Business 2.0 for putting this event together. I suspect the experience was good practice for the "Web 2.0: Show Me The Money" panel I'm set to be on at Microsoft's MIX06 Conference.

Posted by jzawodn at March 03, 2006 07:50 AM

Reader Comments
# grumpY! said:

i agree, "web2" is not a bubble, because a bubble indicates a post-bubble period approaching. no, the new "normal" is that its extremely cheap and simple to set up scalable websites for almost any purpose, which is also coincidentally why no one will make any decent revenues at this level.

no barrier to entry = no profit, oversupply = no pricing power

etc etc etc...sorry kids, the economics are not on your side. and don't think ads will rescue you.

i expect many of these sites to make an eighteen month cycle of:


which isn't necessarily bad, their sites probably make better resume material than a grad degree these days. no better way to hire a qualified developer than to have them demonstrate they are qualified with a real site. but to be sure, these projects will not pay for themselves let alone the weekly ramen stipend.

the next david and jerry or larry and sergey are working on alternative energy, not websites.

on March 3, 2006 09:54 AM
# Jason Wood said:


While the event sounded entertaining, I had a real problem with the list itself. While most [not all] of the Next Net 25 companies are interesting examples of the new web paradigm, the selection criteria seemed, at best, uneven. Om and his Biz 2.0 crew could've just as easily compiled a wholly separate Next Net 25 list of companies directly competitive to this list and it would've been just as germane. Which is why I think it somewhat unfair/unfounded that these companies in particular get flagged as the "best of" or truly "innovative."

I blogged on this a few days ago if you're interested:

on March 3, 2006 11:36 AM
# Joe Hunkins said:

The lack of women was also notable at Mashup Camp about 10 days ago. I'm also noting at conferences that the "inside crowd" is very lively and bright but seems insulated from much of the real world (and almost ALL of the female world!?).

Luckily there is an easy solution:
More reality TV shows with "Geek meets supermodel" themes.

on March 3, 2006 03:59 PM
# Mearle Hamilton said:

I'm new to Jeremy's blog, pretty interesting for a guy like me, gives me some pretty wild insight as to what may actually be happening ie; Jeremy's VOIP vs Y! = VOIM ...

Wanted to say that I can really relate to GrumpY!'s comments, it really helps to clarify that companies that aren't profitable will cease to exist. I've noticed that GrumpY! has stated this theme in other areas. Very important and practical view point ... thanks

As far as Joe's comments about the "inside crowd" and women... unfortunately for me I did not have the environment to develop into what Joe refers to as a "geek". My opinion is I think it would be pretty cool to be young say under 40 and be a power programmer... Women would be the least of my concerns (there are so many of them) I found this out when my 20 yr marriage ended, thanks to Y! personals I had 12 dates in 10 days. All you programmers are the coolest, thats what I tell my 13 yr old. Hope my comments aren't too out of place, couldn't resist commenting. And Jeremy, thank the guys for Y Personals, it saved my ass... my wife came screaming back begging me to take her back, it only took 2 weeks of echatting/dating.


on March 29, 2006 09:33 PM
# business loan said:

These type of meetings are usually for men. Not because women can't do it but because women are into other stuff. I'd like to take part at a meeting because I think there will be a lot of intelligent men there.

on January 21, 2008 11:38 AM
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