We at B-hive spend a lot of time helping customers achieve optimal service levels to their business applications while improving the cost effectiveness of their data center operations. That gives us good insight into what is happening inside the data center and what things are going to happen in the near future.
I thought an appropriate way to start this post is by sharing our predictions for 2008 as we see it from the fluorescent lighten, cold, floating floors of our customer’s data centers.
This post will tackle the future of Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 – there has been much talk recently about the end of the Web 2.0 world as we know it. That sentiment has been exemplified by two recent events – media anti-sentiment towards the web2.0 poster child, (probably peaking with the Beacon story) and the VC community’s declining interest in financing new Web 2.0 ventures, illustrated recently by one of the largest Silicon Valley VCs, Kleiner Perkins, stating that they will not finance any new Web 2.0 companies.
From the way I see it, Web 2.0 is here to stay – the concepts of user generated content and social connectivity are just a technological adaptation to some of the most basic human traits (we share information and we have the need to belong to groups that define who we are and who we aren’t) and as such we will see the same technology making its way into the enterprise (my CRM could use some more collaboration tools and I am sure that crowd wisdom will turn to be a very important information source in virtual financial trading floors) or as a progression of any online application today (Fantasy Baseball, Mommy Groups). Sure, some of the recent users in Facebook might stop using, but that would be mostly the users who were not supposed to be on it in the first place (that includes most of the media writers covering Facebook today and all of my mom’s co-workers who are poking me on Facebook so they can see some baby pictures of my 7-month old).
Facebook’s target audience will just keep on using it in the same way we didn’t stop using IM or shopping online after the .com bust . On the contrary, the number of users will continue to climb and I am sure that given enough time, the financial model behind it will be fine-tuned.
As for the VC angle, yes VCs make it easier for new companies to launch, especially when they have a long technology development period. Guess what? Launching a web2.0 application today has been quite commoditized with platforms like Ning and many others allowing users to focus on creating the community and the rest is up to that magic viral touch. In the same way that anyone today can open an online-shop in Yahoo! or eBay without the need to get Web-Van style funding (more than $800m raised and they didn’t even have a sock-puppet on the payroll!). Web 2.0 is now a commodity application maturing from a hit driven market to a long tail eternal phase.
Next week – The future of the virtualized data center.