I’m sensing a backlash about the rising VC interest in Web 2.0. Mike Rundle takes aim at Flock in his post subtitled “The Leaning Tower of Buzz”. He thinks Flock is only useful to the blog crowd and doesn’t have a viable business model. Bart from Flock disagrees, saying in the comments that they do have a plan to make money and the market will decide. Then I went and read Kevin Burton’s post, entitled Dot Bomb All Over Again?. Kevin blames “tech reliance on Venture Capital” for what he thinks is too much hype and too little value. Om Malik specifically references YouTube, a video-sharing service that got $5 million in funding, and says the “Web 2.0 funding frenzy is in full effect.”
Ben Barren (in between subtle mocking of my paper-based millionaire status) calls all of this an “emerging land of absurdity where a live prototype that can be replicated in 90 days, that has no business model or revenue is considered a business.”
So what’s my opinion on all this? Well I’m right in the middle of Silicon Valley as I write this post. I’ve had a great time over here and I’ve felt lots of energy and enthusiasm from all the Web people I’ve met here. I’ve seen a Flock employee sleeping on the floor of the garage-office Flock occupies in Palo Alto, in mid-afternoon, due to overwork no doubt. People are putting in a lot of effort to build new Web-based businesses. It’s OK to be slightly skeptical about the long-term value, but I have to say I still think it’s a land of opportunity rather than absurdity. Admittedly I’m a pretty naive person when it comes down to it – or maybe just happy (as the Nirvana song goes).
OK so there’s a lot of hype. So the VCs are throwing money around. So get to work. Build something Web-based that mainstream people will need and want. Now’s the time to do it.