DaveNet: How to Make Money on the Internet
A very good DaveNet. Some excerpts:
“So, a shared vision? I thought about this for a few hours. I tried to imagine the leaders of the Internet industry sitting in a room and arriving at a shared vision. Is it possible? I thought about Steve Case and Bill Gates. Case is clearly trying to steer the users into the proprietary AOL world, instead of pushing them to the Web. Gates wants to emphasize the power of desktop computers, with all their RAM and disk space, and of course Microsoft’s 20+ year investment in operating system software for desktop software.
Could Gates and Case get on a stage and share a joint vision that’s anything more than lip service? Not now. Maybe in a few years, but certainly not in time to make a difference in the battle to keep the Internet open and free. Add the other personalities of the industry, Andy Grove, John Chambers, Scott McNealy, Masayoshi Son, Larry Ellison, John Doerr, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, the list goes on and on, and it seems clear that nothing less than an external redefinition of the purpose of technology could get these men into agreement.
Then I realized that such an externally defined vision had already been forced on the technology industry. The standards of the Internet, HTTP, HTML and URLs; and perhaps XML, which is a simple formalization of HTML. To go to the next step the leaders of technology merely have to agree to stop struggling against these standards, and to share the knowledge they have developed around them. The web is ready-made for a shared vision. All that remains is for two or more of the leaders of the Internet industry to get what Clinton, Schwab and Davos are asking them to do.
How will the patent economy effect open source projects? I was the only member of the open source world in that room. And I was shattered by the greed. After all, isn’t there enough money for people who create successful Internet startups like Priceline.Com? Why do we have patents anyway? Is this system, designed for industrial processes, still applicable given the instant gratification reward system for Internet entreprenuers? When your company has a market cap in the billions, is it anything other than unmitigated greed to ask for even more money, for filing a piece of paper with a government?
He asks the audience a question. How many of you believe there is an Internet Bubble? 70 percent say yes. Now, how many believe the Internet industry will be worth more than the PC industry? Every hand goes up. Now he points out the contradiction. All the dot-com companies represent $1 trillion in value. The PC companies are worth $6 trillion. So if you believe your own logic, the bubble won’t happen at least until stock values go up six-fold. Of course the trick is to pick the winners, but it’s sure that Son-San will win. Not only is he long on E-Trade, he’s also starting his own all-electronic stock market! No trading floor. He doesn’t pause to catch his breath. Right on.
We learned about the aspirations of refugees, they want choice, freedom, hope.
‘I have something important to say,’ I said, and all the faces in the room turned to me. ‘The Internet is not about money. I’ve been inspired as you have by what I’ve learned from people on the Internet, from their creativity, humanity, hopes and frailty. Don’t give up on the Internet, it is for you.'”
Sorry for all the quoting but there is lots of good stuff in there. Read it, if nothing else than the conclusion, “How to Make Money on the Internet”.
Damm I want to be invited to Davos some day.