Is Web 2.0 a Bubble and If It Is Does It Matter?

When the dotcom bubble burst I did not have any suddenly worthless shares.

But I was working on a great consultancy project, to do with using Web technology for music education. Ground-breaking, challenging.

It was part of a million dollar sponsorship and while I was not up for the million, I was being paid well for the consultancy. And loving it. That is until the client started wondering openly just why the sponsor’s checks were delayed. And delayed.

There were excuses, reassurances, of course. And really the sponsor had bigger fish to fry.

Like its own survival.

Which was not to be – crash and burn was not immediate but it did not take long. They couldn’t go on burning millions a week (a day if I was to believe one of the staff there who assured me that was so) without any compensating income worth talking about.

I feel really confident that Web 2.0 is not like that. Or is it?

The Wall Street Journal ran a small debate on the subject just under a year ago: pros and cons from a couple of experts.

Then in October this year, after attending a Web 2.0 Summit on the West Coast, New York Magazine’s John Heilerman wrote an interesting piece Web Bubble 2.0, illustrating different points of view on the bubble question, depending on whether you are looking from Silicon Valley or Manhattan. And pointed to an “the attitudinal chasm between the coasts” on the issue:

“Is it a bubble? Is it a bubble? It’s a bubble! It’s a bubble!” is the way that people here in the East tend to approach the situation. Out West, by contrast, the prevailing sentiment is, “Okay, okay, it may be a bubble—and your point is?”

All of which has been prompted by my viewing just now a video that’s going the rounds – which I picked up on Bill Ives’ post (and he got it from Rex Lee, who got it from Bob …). It’s definitely a fun watch (hope you don’t have a lot of shares, or a *really* big consulting job, on the line).

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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