Thanks for bringing back the real deal

I recently met up with an old friend who has become somewhat of a veteran in the dotcom scene. We reminisced about the good ol’ web 2.0 days and talked about how much things have changed.

Back in the days when you can blame your product’s failure on the ongoing digital divide and limits in technology. Those who mastered the art of waxing philosophical about imaginative problems were the heros of the game. Products were like art works curated by early adopters, and no one dared to out themselves for simply “not getting it”. 

Fast forward nearly a decade, and today everyone and their grandmother is buying stuff online. As hobby entrepreneurs and incubators pop up like wild flowers, they are met with a new generation of digital natives that are coming of age with a brutal matter-of-factness and self-assurance around technology. Long gone are the days when all you had to do was build a platform, figure out how to get your friends and their friends on the site then incentivize them to generate content.

Today’s dotcom darlings are looking more like the real deal. Sure, we’ll still have those trying for the gazillionth time to crack the to-do list and we’ll still have those blessed WTF apps out for a quick win, but the new game changers are those bringing real value to real people in the real world. Instead of forcing you to change your ways, they’re figuring out ways to integrate the digital web into your lifestyle. Unlike their predecessors, they actually have to deal with real world problems such as buying goods, handling warehouse logistics, licensing content, working with authorities to set up infrastructure and warrant new laws. They are out there getting real people to rent out real apartments to real strangers. They partner with car manufacturers and local authorities to challenge the long established norm of car ownership. They convince retailers and their buyers to substitute well-established credit institutes for their payment solution.

So here’s my salute to all you new game changers out there. Thanks for bringing back the real deal!

Visualizing the internet superpower

Visualizing the internet superpower