The Web’s Getting Smaller

It’s 2007 and the web is rampant with talk about the coming of Bubble 2.0. We can all hope right? Well, we’re seeing a strange phenomenon: as the web expands it’s actually getting smaller. In many ways I see parallels with the creation of a galaxy. As the galaxy expands, you actually end up with many little planets that act as their own self-contained world.

Just looking at the trends makes this obvious. Some of the trends that I see supporting this are listed below.

Lightweight Web Development Frameworks

Java is fast falling out of favor among startups. It’s not due to lack of firepower. If anythign the opposite. Too much. As in it takes too much manpower to code, too many features you’ll never need, and too many lines of code to maintain. Instead we have a bunch of development frameworks in languages such as ruby, python, and php generating a lot of hype and producing some innovative products.

Lots of Niche Products

New startups are more or less pursuing niche markets. Google owns the web and most of the major players are already nicely positioned. Seriously, who’s going to knock myspace, digg, or youtube off of the map? It’s going to take a while for those properties to go stale and a new player emerge to redefine the game, especially in search.

If it does happen, we’ll see the landscape change drastically and in short time but nobody is going to bank on uncertainties.

Instead we have a multitude of services that are more or less designed to stay small and keep out of harm’s way rather than take on the giants of industry head on. Case in point are all the niche social networks cropping up.

Personal Content on the Rise

We’re starting to see teenagers who more or less grew up on the web. It’s no longer the disruptive force of technology that it once was although it’s more powerful than ever.

Also, the barrier to entry is coming down even more, making it extremely easy for average people to produce websites on their own domain.

Lots of Stuff Still Broken

Do you think all this spamming, domain squatting, click fraud and other ad exploitation is going to end any time soon? I don’t think so either, because it’s just too lucrative. This kind of pollution is going to continue until someone comes up with an innovative solution or the whole thing comes crashing down. It also drives people to stick with the sites that they know making such underhanded tactics all the more effective.

What does this mean for us? It means the web is becoming more diverse and it’s going to take something really innovative with more marketing talent and/or luck to make success happen. Like some famous blogger said, “Google is the ENVIRIONMENT!”.

Although it makes it hard to achieve really massive success, I’d say for the average Joe, times couldn’t be better. With just a little bit of drive and a unique angle you can really achieve success out of nowhere.