Web 2.0’s Favorite Price

July 6, 2008

If you think about social networks and other web 2.0 platforms of the time, it is obvious that these websites offer the large majority of their services for free.  Web 2.0 technology was born on the idea of “free”.  It created a whole new way of looking at business models.  Create something for the masses, let them use it for free, then advertise to them as directly as possible.

It also created a whole new way of valuing companies, which continues to amaze people today.  Instead of looking at a company’s profitability, we create this image or idea of profitability in the future.  We say, “This company has so much information, and is so popular, that there must be a way to make millions.”  Facebook, which at this point continues to lose money on a daily basis, is valued around $15 Billion.

What if an established network decided to change the price of their services?  What if free was not working out?  What if Facebook implemented a $4.95 yearly subscription today?  Would people quit using it?  Would a competitor take over the market?

It seems that most people you ask would tell you its ridiculous to pay for a social network like Facebook.  but that is only because we have been so used to the idea of “free” up until now.  With the huge amount of money they could take in from a low subscription rate, the services and opportunities they could offer would be infinite.  Maybe it’s time to take a bold step.


The Day the Earth Stood Still

July 6, 2008

I recently saw a trailer for the remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, a 1951 movie about an alien visit to earth.  This is not a post about movies though.

As I was checking it out, I watched the trailer for the 1951 movie, which I have never seen.  I thought to myself how old everything looked, and how it must have been so ahead of its time when it first came out.  It got me to thinking about a few things.

We always consider the latest and greatest technology to be this incredible advancement into the future.  But years later you can look back and almost laugh about how old it has become.  Today, technology is moving at the speed of light, and we have an endless array of gadgets to choose from on a daily basis.  What will people twenty years from now when they look back at the original iPhone?  Will it look like something from the middle ages compared to the technological advancements of the time?

What does the future hold in store and who will bring it to us?  Voice recognition technology is at the height of its growth and development.  What will that be used for in the future?  Will we be able to control everything just by speaking?  Will buttons ever be needed to control anything?

What about energy?  Can something like hydrogen provide us with all the power we need?  If so, who is going to make it cheap and easy to use on an individual basis?  Or will batteries become so powerful, and so small, that we won’t need other forms of electricity in our day to day lives?

All of these questions, and many more, bring to light how far we have come, and how far we can continue to go.  It is interesting to think about what will be next.  It takes certain people with great foresight to see how far we can take the technological inventions of today.  The innovators among us carry us forward.  I wonder what’s next.