For the past couple of weeks I’ve been exploring an idea I had. Turned out I didn’t invent any wheel. Someone has already though about it, and quite some time ago. In fact, about a decade ago. A year or two later the idea got dumped, as so many other very good ideas had when the Internet bubble of 2000 burst and exploded. Some venture investors are licking their wounds of that bubble to this day.
But it got me thinking, about all these fantastic ideas. Some have preceded their time in many ways. Does the fact that these companies collapsed with that bubble wave 9 or 8 years ago mean that the ideas should be erased for ever too?
Could it be that the current web era would enable a rebirth of old ideas into a better and sustainable web environment?
The first to answer me was Jeff Pulver: “I think with many things timing is everything. And what those ventures did not have the benefit of was either 3G on the mobile side or widespread availability of broadband on the laptop side. Connectivity is key and sometimes ahead of the vision.”
I began by twitting the following question: What is the biggest change that happened to the web over the past 8-9 years?
I got the following @lemino replies:
http://twitter.com/YoavPerry started with “Mobility” then changed to “Portability”
Of course there is no one answer to this question. All of these are true. Though I do believe that bandwidth has probably paved the way to noise, people, conversation, spectrum and even Google and Wikipedia, which I’d also add to this list.
The exception on this list is ‘portability‘. What makes it special, in my view, is that it is still very much in development with a long long way to go. It encompasses wi-fi mobility and mobile phones web surfing, while the latter is still in diapers and bears the promise of a better, more accessible, future. But what’s even more promising in “portability” is the ability to have content and applications fed into the user’s favorite destination, rather then have users go to a single web site for each interaction they desire.
So,what do YOU perceive as the biggest change in the web from the 2001 bubble to today?