Russell Beattie is getting a lot of links to this post on Web 2.0, and he should. While he claims his post is not an "anti-Web 2.0 sytle backlash", he manages to skewer virtually all the sanctified elements of Web 2.0.
Scrape engines - "most are just leaches"
Mash Ups - "Yes, it’s so neat you can add a free map to your database of geo-data. Good for you. Thank Google for giving god-knows-how-much money to Navteq for you every time you query their data and render a map. Even the GOOG can only throw so much money out the window for so long, so I wouldn’t plan on that lasting very long."
WebApps - AJAXy, Tagged and Shared: Calendaring, To Do Lists, Email, Notes, Word Processors, Project Management, Databases, and anything to do with Getting Things Done. Have fun with all that, but 99.9% of the people out there will still be using Microsoft Office and Yahoo! (Yes, my employer, but I’d say that anyways.) Really. Look, I don’t *trust* your site to keep my personal (and definitely not my professional) data safe, okay, and I’m not going to change my daily habits to include a site that may disappear from the face of the Earth tomorrow.
Social Anything, File Sharing, Content Management - his basic attitude is summed up in "honestly, if you describe your site like, “It’s like Flickr, but with [insert file type here]” then you’ve got serious problems. No, really. No, no, really".
RSS - "a pretty great technology, but really, how many more startups munging RSS feeds do we need? ... if your service is described like, “We take the RSS feeds and do [insert cool sounding agent/filtering/analysis technology here]” you’re in trouble."
This is one part I couldn't say better myself, so I won't:
My general problem is not really with the effort involved in the above types of apps and companies, I’m sure they’re all working hard as hell in their own way. It’s just both the innovation and the ambition of this stuff is so lacking. They all seem to be aiming at the quick hit. The simple win. Someone said to me today, most of these sites are just sort of features not actual services, and it’s true. It’s so depressing.
It just seems that no one is trying to change the world any more. No one is aiming to create “insanely great” products or do the impossible. Why not? Why are so many people grasping at the low-hanging fruit, when there’s so much more goodness for everyone if they just stretched a little higher?
That’s just on the product functionality side - I haven’t seen anything interesting on the business side either. No one seems to be coming up with the next interesting new business model. I’m not looking for anything wacky, but there’s got to be better ways for your site to make money than waiting for Google to send you an AdSense check every month. Seriously, everyone seems to think the Text Ad Train is just going to keep on rolling forever. It’s not. Where is the new innovation to keep things moving? Remember, Google stumbled upon the way to do it right, but someone came up with the Contextual Advertising concept first and his name was Bill Gross. Where is that type of new innovator?
Actually, where are all the personalities, period? Where is the hubris of Jobs? Where is the unrelenting focus of Gates? Where is the arrogance of Ellison? Come on, let’s get some new budding tech-industry stars out there! I want to see someone’s face on the cover of freakin’ Time soon, you know? It’s been at least a year since Larry and Sergey… Come on! Who’s next?