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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2007 - the year for reality check

After a year with a lot of bubble feelings (YouTube acquisition, hype around social networking, etc...), we are now entering into a year of reality checks. Many start-ups have been launched but I have the feeling that the excitement around social networking is cooling down. While the technology is much more accessible, and the price to get a website going much lower, it remains really hard to build a strong community of users, and there is always this unavoidable need to bring value but also revenue at some point.
Interesting enough, it could also be the beginning of the end of the free. While it is really cool to get all these services for free, developers, designers, managers all need to pay rent at one point or another. So I believe we will see more and more of paying services, and I'll be the first to enjoy paying for something that brings me value and does not have the same level of noise that you get with all these ads.
Signs of this trend:
- Google results are being questioned - can you trust page rank? and how are search results being impacted by paying ads?
- Skype is starting to raise their rate, and free calls are being changed into monthly flat rate offers
- Bitwine and Wengo are trying to help people monetize their knowledge, which otherwise could not be delivered online outside of free forums

The end of the free does not mean the end of freedom on the internet though. Actually I see it as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to re-organize around a more sustainable model, so that individuals can better compete against large corporation and collaborative entrepreneurship can take a stronger hold.
So I am ready for another exciting year, and hopefully you are too :-)

1 comment:

websylvain said...


I think you're absolutely right for Wengo ;-)
Thank you for your interesting analyse.