Our PR team likes to position me as somewhat of a contrarian with respect to Web 2.0. (I’m anti-hype.) This morning though, I have to admit to being pretty happy with Web 2.0, thanks to Tim O’Reilly. I was listening to a Business Week podcast in my car: "O’Reilly’s Guide to Web 2.0" Tim said [via my paraphrasing]:
Web 2.0 is about leveraging the power of the network created by the Internet… doing things that could never be done before.
Notice, he didn’t mention technologies like Web services, or AJAX. He didn’t mention start-ups eating established companies. He didn’t mention new business models, etc. He stayed focused on the value… do what couldn’t have accomplished before. Before the Internet, we couldn’t leverage the collective content of billions of people. Google then used Google smarts to harness the collective wisdom on that collective content via their page rank algorithm. Now that’s stuff that couldn’t have been done before.
Here’s an article that I wrote for iMediaConnection on marketing collaboration technology. Go in and replace marketing with whatever field you are in… sales, IT, HR, operations, finance, etc…, and provide some workflow examples that fit the stuff you do every day. This brings the power of Web 2.0 to you. We can make technology social, and we need to. You don’t have to stick with manual workflows (spreadsheets, emails, meetings, etc.) because traditional software doesn’t fit your needs for flexibility, costs, and supportability. What QuickBase is doing wasn’t possible before.
My big question to you, does this make any sense? Am I caught in some hype bubble or helping keep QuickBase focused on core value by thinking about it this way? Thanks for your counsel!
[Aside: I love O'Reilly's company, because of their charter... poorly paraphrased by me: "to spread innovation." They don't view themselves as a publishing company, but rather as evangelists, so they focus not on reporting what's out there, but how to embrace it. How cool is that?]