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special issue
                              Number 4, 2009


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  Celebrating the beautiful mind [Continued]
    baby bo...
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    ConneCting
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  in the 20 years since
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  the day for you to have typed i...
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  Founder of O’Reilly M...
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  SHIp aNyWHErE
  “For businesses, that metaphor of the...
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20
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ON Magazine: The Web at 20 - Special Issue 4/2009

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  1. 1. special issue Number 4, 2009 IN THIS ISSUE Q&A: Bob Metcalfe Chris Brogan The past and future ofl the Web, networking, l John Seely Brown and energy l Jim Champy l Jeff Clavier l Dave Cullinane life in information l Steve Duplessie l Rob Enderle Laura Fitton Tim Berners- l Seth Godin Lee on his l l Paul Graham world-changing l Guy Kawasaki invention l Paul Kedrosky l Loic Le Meur l Dany Levy Sanjay Mirchandani 20 l l Craig Newmark The Web at l l l l Jeff Nick Jakob Nielsen Andrew Odlyzko Tim O’Reilly l Jeremiah Owyang l Howard Rheingold l Steve Rubel l Paul Saffo l Dave Sifry l David Vellante webb chaPPell Jimmy Wales l 3
  2. 2. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| john GoodMan Celebrating the beautiful mind w About 10 minutes into the process of editing my colleague Gil Press’s fascinating interview with bob Metcalfe—the legendary co-creator of the ethernet standard and founder of 3com—I was struck by a revelation. This issue of ON is not only a celebration of the web’s 20th anniversary. It is also a celebration of “the beautiful minds,” which, collectively, created the transformational technologies that now permeate our daily lives: the world wide web itself; the network and Internet technologies that form its foundation; and the ever-expanding constellation of apps, services, and devices that utilize the web as a global platform for communications and computing. There at the Creation If you read nothing else in this issue, I encourage you to read the Metcalfe interview and the Q&a with Sir Tim berners- lee, whose genius it was to define the “three adequate standards” (Metcalfe’s words) that are the basis of the web and account for its astonishing flexibility, longevity, and ubiquity. with birth 2 dates that bracket the first half of the % 73
  3. 3. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Celebrating the beautiful mind [Continued] baby boom generation, these two men are the (wikipedia), dany levy (dailycandy), and Tim technology equivalent of first-generation rock o’Reilly (o’Reilly Media), and they were all asked stars. Their observations and insights on the the same three questions: genesis and evolution of the web shine with the • How has the Web changed your life? authenticity and intellectual wattage of those who • How has the Web changed business and society? not only were “there at the creation,” but also • What do you think the Web will look like in 20 helped spark the creation. years? Future Focused equally important, they both characteristic of all beautiful minds, their re- remain deeply involved in exploring how the web sponses—which are excerpted throughout the can be harnessed to address some of the greatest issue—are wonderfully frank and varied, often un- challenges we face as a society. Metcalfe’s vision expected, and colored with flashes of humor and for increasing the efficiency of energy distribution self-revelation. Many share a genuine concern for by emulating certain core characteristics of the the two-edged nature of new technology, which Internet is compelling. berners-lee discusses how can always be used for good and evil alike. we can accelerate discovery and collaboration In addition to all these voices, this special issue on a large scale by freeing data from today’s of ON includes reflections and predictions from information “silos” and allowing it to be linked both regular and occasional contributors—jim together via the Semantic web. champy, Rob enderle, jeff nick, Sanjay Mirchan- dani, and Steve duplessie—and from correspon- But Wait! There’s More! In addition to dents specially enlisted to describe how the web publishing these full-length interviews, we asked is affecting life in ascendant economies and devel- regular columnists Tim devaney and Tom Stein oping countries in asia, africa, and latin america. to do “mini-interviews” with 20 members of the on this 20th anniversary of the web, there’s Inforati: the entrepreneurs and opinion makers much to celebrate and reflect on and anticipate. who have played a critical role in dragging us all and it’s all powered by the beautiful mind. tweeting, IMing, and YouTubing into this next stage of the Information age. Those interviewed Christine Kane 3 include craig newmark (craigslist), jimmy wales ONeditor@gmail.com 73
  4. 4. 2 ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Saffo, Paul ................................................28 Sifry, Dave ................................................20 Van Dam, Andy..................................61, 62 Vellante, David ...................................17-18 Wales, Jimmy .......................................... 27 Wells, H.G. ................................................ 61 Places Angola ....................................................... 41 Archive.org ..............................................64 Jin, Hai........................................................ 7 Argentina .................................................30 PeoPle Kahle, Brewster ......................................64 China ..................................................... 7, 27 Kawasaki, Guy ........................................... 6 DailyCandy.com ....................................... 5 Adams, Douglas......................................... 6 Kedrosky, Paul ......................................... 53 Gutenberg.org .........................................62 Battelle, John ..........................................28 Le Meur, Loic........................................... 31 India ....................................................34-35 Berners-Lee, Tim ...........9, 21-26, 28, 59, Levy, Dany .................................................. 5 Mauritius ...........................................46-47 62, 63, 64 Licklider, J.C.R..................................49, 61 Namibia ..............................................38-39 Brogan, Chris ........................................... 16 Massing, Michael ..................................... 6 Twitter.com ....................10, 15, 31, 43, 53 Brown, John Seely .................................20 Metcalfe, Bob ................................8-14, 59 Venezuela ................................................. 56 Bush, Vannevar .......................... 28, 61, 62 Mirchandani, Sanjay .......................36-37 Well.com ........................................... 29, 62 Champy, Jim ................................51-52, 65 Nelson, Ted .............................................. 61 Clavier, Jeff ..............................................40 Newmark, Craig ...................................... 15 Cullinane, Dave.................................54-55 Ng, Frederic .......................................46-47 PersPectives Duplessie, Steve............................... 42-43 Nick, Jeff ............................................32-33 Dyson, Esther .......................................... 45 Nielsen, Jakob......................................... 47 Cloud computing ............ 6, 32-33, 36-37, Enderle, Rob ......................................44-45 Odlyzko, Andrew ..............................48-50 48, 54-55, 58-60 Engelbart, Doug ............................... 49, 62 O’Reilly, Tim ............................................ 19 Cross-references .................................... 61 Fitton, Laura ............................................40 Owyang, Jeremiah ................................. 53 Future Web .............. 19, 21-26, 27, 44-45 Fry, Jason ................................................. 57 Raj, Vidya ...........................................34-35 Hypertext/hypermedia ........... 61, 62, 63 Godin, Seth ................................................ 5 Recchimuzzi, Hugo ................................ 41 Mobile Web.............................. 6, 17-18, 19 Graham, Paul ........................................... 31 Rheingold, Howard ................................29 Semantic Web ................. 5, 21-26, 32-33 Grillet, Fran ............................................. 56 Rubel, Steve ............................................. 16 Serendipity ..........................................9, 49 Iavarone, Hugo........................................30 Rusch, Rainer ....................................38-39 Traditional journalism/media 5, 15, 53 4 WEB TIME LINE % Page 61 73
  5. 5. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| dUMB aNd dUMBEr “The web is impossibly stupid. It’s ar- the end of Print? chaic. It doesn’t do one percent of what it Dany Levy ought to. It’s basically taking a model of a Founder and editorial director of DailyCandy card catalogue and a few other items and 5 A lifestyle e-mail newsletter with a focus on style, food, slapping electronics on top of it. I think and fashion, DailyCandy has three million subscribers for that the active web, which I’ve blogged its 28 editions. about calling web 4, is a web that actu- ally knows who I am and who I know and “I’m ambivalent about the demise leverages those connections on my be- of print journalism. It’s a great op- half. It will speak up when I want it to and portunity for dailycandy, but at the be quiet when I don’t. It’ll help me navi- same time—being a little bit of an gate people. old-school girl—I really like having “a simple example is when I’m at a something in my hands. I like read- trade show and run into somebody, the ing a book. I like reading a news- web ought to tell me when I last saw paper. I like holding a magazine. I them. It ought to tell me that six steps think that it’s about the anticipa- behind me is somebody I went to college tion of waiting for the next issue to with. It ought to tell me that the booth I’m come out and be on your doorstep, passing by sells [product] for three per- and the thrill of getting it in your adaM MccauleY cent more than the booth down the hall, hands. so I shouldn’t even bother sticking my “It’s the same thing with search- head in there. The web knows all these ing for a record in a record store. I things. It’s just not good at telling me.” remember, back in the day, having to stupidly sing a song to the guy behind the counter trying to Seth Godin figure out who the musician was. now you just type in a lyric, Author and entrepreneur and you can find it like that. 5 Godin is the best-selling author of “with the web, everything comes so easily. I wonder about index 10 books about marketing and work the future and the human ability to research and to seek and including Tribes, The Dip, and to find, which is a really important skill. I wonder, will human 5 All Marketers are Liars. beings lose their ability to navigate?” 73
  6. 6. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| extra! extra! HoLograpHIc ME “The practice of journalism, “with the web, far from being leeched by I’ve become a the web, is being reinvented lot more digital. there, with a variety of fas- So as the years cinating experiments in the have gone by, gathering, presentation, and I have gone delivery of news.” from three or —Michael Massing four meetings a day to zero meetings per day. everything is phone calls, e-mails, Skype, and this kind of stuff. cisco has TelePresence technology that makes it (r)evolution look like you’re all in a board room, sitting around the table; they also have a thing “First we thought the where they do Star Wars-like Princess lea Pc was a calculator. holograms. That’s my perfect world, when Then we found out how I can make a keynote speech in Mumbai to turn numbers into via hologram. Truly the best will be when letters with aScII—and there is a 3-d hologram of Guy giving a we thought it was a speech. You can pass your hand through typewriter. Then we him. That’s the ultimate.” discovered graph- ics, and we thought it Guy Kawasaki was a television. with Founder of Garage Technology the world wide web, Ventures and co-founder of Alltop. index we’ve realized it’s a 5 Kawasaki describes himself as “a fire- brochure.” hose that answers the question: What’s 6 —Douglas Adams interesting?” 73
  7. 7. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| ConneCting education and research in The chinaGrid, which started with 12 universi- Google Gmail, Google doc, and Google Scholar. China ties and has extended to more than 40 currently, is The web is also an important tool for me to do my research. The the largest grid-computing first time I used it was in 1996, platform in china. It lets while I was a visiting scholar in users share some 2,000 Germany. It gave me a window to different elite courses explore all the research materials I among all the disciplines needed. nowadays, I spend about and universities via a six hours a day on the web to do world wide web portal. my research. chinaGrid partners are with the continued emergence connected through a com- of cloud computing, the Internet mon virtual hub that links will play even more important roles them to the appropriate in all areas of people’s daily lives application resources— in the future. Mobile devices and By Professor Hai Jin from life sciences research to video smart phones will transform web b The world wide web has become courses and e-learning. an important unifying force for edu- The Internet has impacted my technology, making it ubiquitous. cation and research across china. country in many other ways as profESSor HaI JIN is dean of the School of In 2002, china’s Ministry of edu- well. chinese society now heavily Computer Science and Technology cation launched the china educa- depends on the web in all areas, at Huazhong university of Science tion and Research Grid project, a including news online, streaming and Technology, Wuhan, China, grid-computing platform, which video, e-business, e-education, and where he also serves as director of index enables universities across the online gaming. especially in the the Cluster and Grid Computing country to collaborate on research, cloud computing area, most activi- Lab and the Services Computing 7 scientific, and education projects. ties are now on the web, such as Technology and System Lab. 73
  8. 8. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| bob metcalfe has been involved—as a direct catalyst or a prominent observer—in a number of key milestones spanning the evolution of the IT industry: the birth of the Internet, the invention of Ethernet and local area networks, and the rapid adoption of the World Wide Web as the platform for linking information and people. Today, as a part- ner in Polaris Ventures, he invests in clean, low-cost energy solutions. % from ethernet to enernet: BoB Metcalfe on standards, serendiPity, and stUBs christian northeast index 8 73
  9. 9. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] in the 20 years since the invention of the World Wide WeB, � The Web demonstrates how powerful [its architecture] is, both by being layered on top of things that were invented 17 years before, and giving rise to amazing new functions in the following decades.” What has sUrPrised yoU most? That’s the surprise. what this What has been a bob metcalfe: Tim berners- has demonstrated is the efficacy disappointment in the lee invented the uRl, hTTP, of the layered architecture of the context of the World Wide and hTMl standards. none of Internet. The web demonstrates Web—something you them is particularly impressive; how powerful that is, both by be- expected that didn’t pan out? so many high-tech people have ing layered on top of things that There’s no room for that. The found them to be in some way were invented 17 years before web has been so successful, deficient. but Tim came up with and by giving rise to amazing there’s nothing disappointing three adequate standards that, new functions in the following about it. Tim berners-lee tells when used together, ignited the decades. based on the artfulness this joke, which I hasten to retell explosive growth of the web. The of the design of the interfaces, because it’s so good. he was power of good standards is they you give rise to serendipity. introduced at a conference as leave you with no options. as In the design of his standards, the inventor of the world wide we used to say about ethernet, Tim nailed down both expres- web. as often happens when “anything which is not prohibited sive power and simplicity, allow- someone is introduced that way, is mandatory.” ing people to easily get started. there are at least three people Think about that. we designed It’s those three standards, plus in the audience who want to some plumbing at the lower lev- Mosaic, which added visual and fight about that, because they els of the hierarchy, and 17 years graphical veneer, plus the evan- invented it or a friend of theirs index later, Tim comes up with the gelical verve of Tim berners-lee invented it. Someone said, “You world wide web, which ether- himself, that were probably all didn’t. You can’t have invented it. 9 net and TcP/IP carried just fine. pivotal in that early takeoff. There’s just not enough time in % 73
  10. 10. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] the day for you to have typed in funeral at a time. These people was when I tweeted the fact all that information.” That poor had to die. There was no way of that 111,111 squared equals schlemiel completely missed the changing their minds. So, I un- 12,345,678,987,654,321. Then point that Tim didn’t create the derstand generational ossifica- I noticed that in a lot of the re- world wide web. he created tion. when my partner accused tweets there was a tag that I was the mechanism by which many, me of it, I decided to participate unaware of: number sign, nerd many people could create the in this phenomenon so as to bet- porn—this particular fact was world wide web. ter understand it. considered nerd porn. I’m beginning to find uses for And the mechanism to Twitter. by tweeting my weight, In the early 1990s, you connect not only informa- I have involved my followers in argued in an InfoWorld tion, as was his original a support group to help me lose column against wireless vision, but now also weight. Knowing that I’m going computing, advising readers connecting people with Web to be tweeting my weight bears to “wire up your homes and 2.0 applications. You recently on my behavior. So there’s one stay there.” started to use Twitter. Why? application—the support group let’s divide that into two discus- I’m using Twitter because one application. sions. I think that “wire up your of my partners, Mike hirshland, My daughter is about to gradu- home and stay there” is truer accused me of having a genera- ate from college, and she’s look- than ever. we’re at a time now tional problem. Young, hip people ing for a job. I have tweeted this where energy conservation is use social networks, and old farts fact, and I’m actually getting the next big thing, and one of don’t. inquiries about my daughter the opportunities we have is the I used to be on the other side. from people who might want to substitution of communication I was helping to introduce lans see her résumé. So, that’s the job for transportation. when there were all these old search application. but you ask about one of my farts who thought that punch- one of my hobbies is math regrettable columns. In the index cards were the way you did puzzles, and I tweet them now early 1990s, there was a wireless computing. The joke was that and then. The most response bubble. There were a bunch of 10 ethernet would be adopted one I’ve ever gotten on Twitter companies touting their modems % 73
  11. 11. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] and wireless mobility. but the that’s not nearly as interesting as people a rationale for building modems didn’t work very well, these hyperbolic comments. bigger ethernets. I drew a picture and they were bigger than the I would like to point out that that put the three-node network computers. I said that wireless there is a figure of speech called below a critical-mass point, ar- mobile Pcs would be like porta- hyperbole. It’s a Greek word. It’s guing that you needed to get to potties: Porta-potties are good been around for a long time, so I some higher number to achieve and useful things, but as a gen- offer it in defense of some of my critical mass. That was the dia- eral rule, the bathrooms that we hyperbolic columns. gram that I gave to George Gilder use have pipes. So yes, there will in 1993. he called it “Metcalfe’s be some wireless computers, but Around the same time, law,” for which I’m grateful. The mostly we’ll use pipes because George Gilder coined the value of the network grows as pipes have so much more capac- term “Metcalfe’s Law” to n-squared—“n” being the num- ity. I was right about it in 1993: describe your idea that ber of machines connected to the That bubble burst, and all those bigger networks are better. network. mobile wireless companies went In the context of the layered away. architecture of the Internet, Networking PCs was a novel I went on to say in my column don’t you think one can apply idea at the time. So what did that wireless computing will “Metcalfe’s Law” to the layer you tell people they could do never be important. That’s where of networking computers with the network? I went wrong, because along (the Internet), the layer of when ethernet first came came wi-Fi. when I was writ- linking information (the out, our sales proposition was ing my column, I was often torn Web), and finally, the layer of PFMTS—Print, File, Mail, Termi- between being right and being in- connecting people (Web 2.0)? nal, Stubs. teresting. Many columnists make That’s a great point. I’d never You may remember the IbM the mistake of trying too hard to thought of it that way. It wasn’t Pc XT that came out in 1982. It be interesting. You use various even called Metcalfe’s law when had a 10-megabyte disk on it. no index forms of hyperbole, like “There I first used it. It was a slide in a one could imagine what you’d do will never be anything like this.” 3com sales presentation. The with 10 megabytes on your disk. 11 well, maybe there will be. but goal of the slide was to give So the idea that you might want % 73
  12. 12. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] � I’m using Twitter because one of my partners ... accused me of having a generational problem. Young, hip people use social net- works, and old farts don’t,” says Metcalfe, pictured here atop Mount Kilimanjaro. index 12 % 73
  13. 13. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] to buy one Pc with a 10-mega- have a dumb terminal on their about nowadays: Energy or byte disk on it, and then share it desk, and then they would have what you call the Enernet. over the lan with cheaper disk- a Pc on their desk. That didn’t I’ve been on this Internet speak- less Pcs, had traction. The same make any sense. So you’d just ing tour, a two-year book tour thinking applied to laser printers write software that allowed your without a book. I felt I had a valu- that were new and expensive. So Pc to be a dumb terminal so you able contribution to make, look- share the printer, share the disk. could access the minicomputer ing at how we built the Internet I like to think about it as shift- or the mainframe. and extracting the lessons from ing gears. The second gear was Stubs were the aPIs for ac- that, and then applying them to lan e-mail. The big e-mail car- cessing the underlying network- energy so we could solve energy riers of the time, like aol and ing functionality, opening con- problems sooner, better, faster. McI, didn’t consider it e-mail, nections, closing connections, I think there are a lot of lessons because my e-mails never left etc. This is the serendipity idea to be learned, such as the value the building. but already in the again. one such new idea came of decentralization, designing for early days of the Internet, we from novell, which used the abundance, or over-reliance on observed heavy e-mail traffic be- stubs to share access—not to a washington. tween Internet nodes within the file, but to a database. This led I used to defend that analogy. same building. we called it “in- to the first use of multi-user ac- I’ve now come full circle: I believe cestuous traffic”; it was surpris- counting systems that ran on top that energy is the Internet’s next ing, even embarrassing, because of the lan. That’s how netware killer app. we did mail, we did Internet e-mail was originally got its foothold and eventually telephone, we did commerce, we conceived for long-distance com- blew past 3com’s operating sys- did publishing, we did newspa- munications. tem. pers (we’re about to kill newspa- T stood for terminal. There pers), and now we, the Internet, were all these minicomputers You have been drawing are going to solve energy. For and mainframes still around in interesting analogies example, they talk about a smart index those days. You couldn’t throw from your experience with grid. a smart grid is a bunch of them out, and all of them had Ethernet and the Internet to folks out there who want to build 13 dumb terminals. People would what you invest in and speak new networks to solve energy % 73
  14. 14. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| metCalfe [Continued] and they call it the smart grid. what’s more, the other thing to deal with: video, mobile, and but instead of building an entirely we did to telecom is we added embedded. on the other axis are new network, another silo, why storage. The original Internet had the next three societal applica- not use the Internet as the con- no storage in it. Then these ge- tions that the web has to solve: trol plane for the smart grid? niuses came up with the packet energy, healthcare, and educa- but it’s even deeper than that. switch, with core memory for tion. I look in each of those nine That is, the very structure of the storing packets. Then we added boxes for companies, opportuni- energy network— the actual disks to our computers. If you ties, and progress. transmission and distribution— look at the Internet now, there Those three kinds of traffic needs to be like the Internet. So, is storage everywhere. So we’re have started arriving, but we it needs to be de-synchronized. going to “storify” the energy have a long way to go. Video is Right now, to put energy on the network. Right now, they have brand new on the Internet, as far grid, you need to synchronize no place to put energy, so when as I’m concerned. The mobile frequency and phase to get onto they have excess energy, they Internet has arrived, but it’s still it because it clicks with this don’t know what to do with it. happening. Then there’s embed- 60-hertz centralized clock. also, if renewables such as solar ded traffic. Ten billion microcon- what the Internet did for com- and wind are going to play any trollers are shipped every year, munications was to take the role, you need storage. I think and only a tiny fraction of those clock out and put the clock in storage is going to be big in this are networked. Then there are the packet so there wasn’t a big new energy network we have to the three new killer apps—en- global ticking clock. I sent you build. ergy, healthcare, and educa- the clock, and you were able to tion—just sitting there. The web tick the bits at the rate that I told What will the Web look like or has got to solve all three of those you to, so we de-synchronized should look like in 20 years? problems. the net. we will end up de-syn- Thinking about the future of the what will the web look like in chronizing the power switching web or the Internet, I came up 20 or 30 years? It will be com- index network and end up with power with a three-by-three matrix. fortable with those three new packet switching, like the Inter- on one axis are the three new modes of traffic, and it will be 14 net. kinds of traffic that the web has solving those three problems. p 73
  15. 15. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| this i believe pay aS yoU rEad? while 68 percent of the pub- lishers responding to a 2009 survey sponsored by the amer- ican Press Institute said they thought readers who objected to paying for online content would have a difficult time replacing the information they get from newspaper websites, 52 percent of readers said it would be either “very easy” or “somewhat easy” to do so. adaM MccauleY afghanistan, support for serious peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and, most importantly, the transforma- tion of american government. “There are now tools like 311 that allow people to get Craig Newmark everyday government things done, like getting a pothole Founder of Craigslist fixed or the garbage removed. More abstractly, people are 5 Through his personal blog, social networking experimenting with how to use the web to get ordinary channels, and speaking activities, Newmark uses citizens involved in the creation of government policy. The the Web as a platform to support social causes idea is to complement our system of representative de- important to him. mocracy with a system of online grassroots democracy. “Mostly what I do to participate is chat with people in “Personally speaking, the web allows me to con- washington and then spread word of these new experi- index nect to a lot of people in a lot of ways, frequently ments through the social media. So, I use Twitter. I use social but also involving things that I believe in: Facebook. I’m just one guy helping out. we need a lot 15 for example, support for veterans of Iraq and more, but it’s happening.” 73
  16. 16. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| gENIE EScapES BoTTLE Jumping the Gate “I think the defin- “one impact of the web is it allows you to gate jump, which is ing moment for me an expression my co-author julien Smith and I use a lot: gate came in 2004 to jumpers versus gatekeepers. we look at the web as this set 2005 when I was of tools that allow people to try any idea without a whole lot doing traditional of expense but with the op- public relations. portunity to let your passion I had started to come first. The example that blog—blogs were we use is Perezhilton.com, just emerging; they which is a pop culture site weren’t in every niche yet—and I decided where essentially he says to do a fun experiment. I said, ‘I bet I can mean things about stars all stay up to date on sports and politics and day long. tech and national news by just reading “he had approached blogs and nothing else. I won’t read any People magazine to work traditional media or watch any TV. I won’t there, and a lot of the lesser even look at the ticker in Times Square.’ pop magazines, and they I said, ‘let’s try this for a week, and you said, ‘no, not really.’ now give me a current events quiz at the end, he’s handing them their hat and let’s see if I get a passing grade,’ as far as web traffic on any which I did. It actually made national day, and he’s got a much smaller operation. So, one of the news. after that, there was no putting the things I say is he makes by far more revenue per employee genie back in the bottle. I wasn’t going to than any of those people because he only has like six employ- do traditional media relations anymore.” ees. The web does that all the time. anyone can start any- thing with very little money, and then it’s just a meritocracy in Steve Rubel terms of winning the attention wars.” SVP, director of Insights for Edelman Digital Chris Brogan index 5 Through his Steve rubel Lifestream President, New Marketing Labs site, rubel comments on emerging 5 brogan is a social media expert and co-author of the best- 16 technologies and trends. selling book Trust Agents. 73
  17. 17. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| make better decisions. I left Idc in 1999 near the peak of the Internet bubble. I felt like a latecomer to the software startup game, and things were moving very fast. netscape (as we knew it) had come and gone, aol was the granddaddy of the Internet, and Yahoo was about to buy broadcast.com—a firm with a $50 million revenue run rate—for nearly $6 billion. web software at the time was plagued by performance and quality problems, but these were largely overlooked because of the access and version-control benefits users received. no dot-Com, no Money adaM MccauleY we set out to stake our claim with a plan to build lessons learned launching enterprise software to analyze IT portfolios and improve the performance of technology invest- ments. we needed money, and Vcs seemed a logical route. So we wrote a business plan and two WWW-era started shopping it. The only thing the Vcs startups wanted to know was, “how are you a dot-com?” unfortunately, we didn’t have a good answer, and By David Vellante while we received some term sheets, we passed. This is the story of how my colleagues and I started This was 1999, and we were not to be stopped. two companies in the web era with virtually no out- In a few months, we raised more than $2 million side money. over the 10-year period in which we built from prospective customers, without giving up index these companies, we witnessed a dramatic evolution a dime in equity. (Sometimes I miss 1999!) our in software development that drove us to apply two mindset was a bit different than “build it and 17 completely different strategies to help IT managers they will come.” It was more like “Make the sale % 73
  18. 18. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| lessons learned [Continued] and then design, build, test, and port its many millions of users. we are constant reminders of the need ship the software.” we had initial knew the software scaled. also, it for speed. product shipping within six months, had many features that allowed us It’s been amazing to watch the and over the next several years, we to track changes in real time, col- evolution of software since 1999. I spent many millions of dollars per- laborate with users, and manage realize, however, that much more fecting the software and making it content versions. It was incredibly will be done in the next 10 years. powerful, and the code was avail- scale into an enterprise suite called The online and physical worlds will Precision IQ. we considered our- able for free. The “V8 moment” for begin to collide as millions of mo- selves a capital-efficient business us was that once we’d settled on bile devices provide inputs to the and were very proud of our techni- Mediawiki, inside of a day and for web. Further, the web’s collective cal achievements and the excellent less than $5, we had a fully func- intelligence will be harnessed by client base we’d built. tioning version of the software, software that provides context to a Fast forward to 2006. we re- customized for our new commu- user base with an insatiable ap- examined the technology research nity. wikibon was born. petite for information. expect the business and began envisioning From this experience, we learned pace of development to be non- models like wikipedia and Face- two major lessons about the power linear as the number of sensors book applied to the analyst busi- of the web-based open source on the web increases by orders of ness. we saw the confluence of model: magnitude. software technology, community Instead of writing a business Sometimes I’m not sure if I expertise, and content, and we plan, you can very quickly deploy a should be excited or scared. but thought the time had come for product and launch a business. The one thing’s for certain: I don’t want peers to interact and assist each business itself is the initial plan. to miss the ride. other in making better technology Software development is no lon- decisions. ger a barrier to entry for entrepre- davId vELLaNTE spent 15 years at IDC, neurs like us, but speed is. compe- was the CeO of two startups, and is Wiki World tition has been popping up in many a founder of The Wikibon Project, a index In early 2007, we decided to deploy forms, which is good confirmation community of business technology Mediawiki, the same open source that we’re on to something. but it practitioners. He can be reached on 18 software used by wikipedia to sup- brings challenges and threats that Twitter at @dvellante. 73
  19. 19. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| device driven Tim O’Reilly Founder of O’Reilly Media 5 An early evangelist for the Web, O’reilly published The Whole Internet Users Guide & Catalog, which the New York Public Library named as one of the most significant books of the 20th century. “This next stage of the web is be- it says, ‘There’s a tube station in ing driven by devices other than four blocks.’ Point it down another computers. our phones now have street and it says, ‘There’s a tube six or seven senses. The applica- station in 12 blocks.’ everybody tions that are coming will take thinks it’s recognizing the street. data from our devices and the In fact, it has GPS and a compass. data that is being built up in these what it’s recognizing is where big user-contributed databases you are and in what direction your and mash them together in new camera is pointing. kinds of services. “Google knows where you are “There is a program where you because the phone has a report- can hold up your phone to the ing app. They know where you’re radio and identify the song you’re going because it’s your next ap- listening to. That’s a sensor that pointment in your calendar. It’s you’re carrying around with you. able to recognize your voice be- You can sign up for something cause it has a microphone—ears called the Quake catcher network, which uses a for the application—and it has speech recognition. distributed network of motion sensors that already You say, ‘Take me to my next appointment,’ and bang! exists in phones and laptops to detect earthquakes. It is these cooperating databases and cooperating index There is an augmented-reality app called nearest sensors that will enable augmented reality. I think Tube that is put out by a company in london. You real-time translation is something that Google is very 19 hold up your phone and point it down one street and much working on.” 73
  20. 20. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| A New Kind of Intellectual SpINaL Tap Infrastructure “we’re going to see some really inter- “In many ways, looking at how an idea unfolds through time esting applications gives you a much better sense of what that idea really is. based around the For people who are interested in always being on the edge fact that every single of whatever their topic is, they have to be able to reach out one of us right now is to understand what the current thinking is and to partici- walking around with pate in discussions and development of those ideas. a pretty fascinat- “when I ran Xerox PaRc, I had access to one of the ing platform we call world’s best intellectual infrastructures: 250 research- the cell phone. It’s a ers, probably another 50 craftspeople, and six reference mobile computer that does voice input, that librarians, all in the same building. Then one day to go cold does voice and sound output, that can take turkey—when I did my first retirement—was a complete video, that has GPS and a compass on it, shock. but with the web, in a year or two, I had managed and that is connected to the Internet. to hone a new kind of intellectual infrastructure that in “when I start thinking 20 years out or many ways matched what I already had. That’s obviously even further, I can’t wait to get that implant the power of the web, the power to connect and interact in the back of my spine that just plugs that at a distance. It gives you the ability to peer into embryonic platform directly into your nervous system, ideas and watch or participate in their development, which maybe over the optic nerve. Think about is such a powerful way to really understand the structure of the opportunity and the level of connected- the idea.” ness and the amount that we’ll be able to $ !! $ !! $ !! do when you even get rid of the computer as part of the interface and get all this in- put and output directly into your biological John Seely Brown systems.” Self-described “chief of confusion” 5 The former chief scientist of Xerox Corporation, brown Dave Sifry index thinks, speaks, and writes on topics that include the man- 5 Sifry is a software entrepreneur and agement of radical innovation, digital youth culture, and blogosphere icon. He founded Technorati, a 20 new forms of communication and learning. leading blog search engine. 73
  21. 21. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| In 1989, while a fellow at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Tim berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Today, he is 3Com Founders Professor of Engi- neering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he serves as director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international standards body dedicated to leading the Web to its full potential. Sir Tim is the author of Weaving the Web. Jason Rubin spoke with him at his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. % from the webb chaPPell Web of doCuments to the Web of data: tiM Berners-lee on the fUtUre of his invention 73 index 21
  22. 22. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| berners-lee [Continued] tWenty years on, � I believe that 20 years from now, people will look back at where we are today as being a time when the Web of the World Wide WeB documents was fairly well established. ... The Web of has Proven itself data, though, which we call the Semantic Web, would be seen as just starting to take off.” Both UBiqUitoUs and indisPensiBle. we should realize that, and we are still fairly “pre-web.” Social did yoU anticiPate are constantly changing it, and networking sites, for example, it WoUld reach this it’s very important that we do so. I believe that 20 years from are still siloed; you can’t share your information from one site statUs, and in this now, people will look back at where we are today as being a with a contact on another site. hopefully, in a few years’ time, time frame? time when the web of docu- we’ll see that quite large cat- tim berners-lee: I think while ments was fairly well established, egory of social information truly it’s very tempting for us to look such that if someone wanted web-ized, rather than being held at the web and say, “well, here it to find a document, there’s a in individual lockdown applica- is, and this is what it is,” it has, of pretty good chance it could be tions. course, been constantly growing found on the web. The web of and changing—and it will con- data, though, which we call the You mentioned a “small tinue to do so. So to think of this Semantic web, would be seen community” of people who as a static “This is how the web as just starting to take off. we see the value of the Semantic is” sort of thing is, I think, unwise. have the standards but still just Web. Is that a repeat In fact, it’s changed in the last a small community of true be- occurrence of the struggle few years faster than it changed lievers who recognize the value 20 years ago to get people to before, and it’s crazy for us to of putting data on the web for understand the scope and index imagine this acceleration will people to share and mash up and potential impact of the World suddenly stop. So yes, the 20- use at will. and there are other Wide Web? 22 year point goes by in a flash, but aspects of the online world that It’s remarkably similar. It’s very % 73
  23. 23. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| berners-lee [Continued] funny. You’d think that once it become tremendously fired of people is really important. people had seen the effect of up. once somebody has real- when you get people who are web-izing documents to pro- ized what it would be like to have trying to solve big problems like duce the world wide web, linked data across the world, curing aIdS, fighting cancer, and doing likewise with their data then they become very enthusi- understanding alzheimer’s dis- would seem the next logical step. astic, and so we now have this ease, there are a huge number of but for one thing, the web was a corps of people in many coun- people involved, all of them with paradigm shift. a paradigm shift tries all working together to make half-formed ideas in their minds. is when you don’t have in your it happen. how do we get them communi- vocabulary the concepts and the cating so that the half of an idea ideas with which to understand Do you see the Semantic in one person’s head will connect the new world. Today, the idea Web as enabling greater with half of an idea in somebody that a web link could connect to collaboration between and else’s head, and they’ll come up a document that originates any- among parties, as opposed to with the solution? where on the planet is complete- the point-to-point or point- That’s been a goal for the web ly second nature, but back then to-many communication of documents, and it’s certainly a it took a very strong imagination that seems more prevalent in goal for the web of data, where for somebody to understand it. the current Web? different pieces of data can be now, with data, almost all the The original web browser was a used for all kinds of different data you come across is locked browser editor and it was sup- things. For example, a genomist in a database. The idea that you posed to be a collaborative tool, may suspect that a particular could access and combine data but it only ran on the neXT work- protein is connected to a certain anywhere in the world and im- station on which it was devel- syndrome in a cell line, search mediately make it part of your oped. however, the idea that the for and find data relating to each spreadsheet is another paradigm web should be a collaborative area, and then suddenly put index shift. It’s difficult to get people place has always been a very together the different strains of to buy into it. but in the same important goal for me. I think data and discover something 23 way as before, those who do get harnessing the creative energy new. and this is something he % 73
  24. 24. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| berners-lee [Continued] can do with the owners of the webb chaPPell respective pieces of data, who might never have found each other or known that their data was connected. So the web of data will absolutely lead to great- er collaboration. Is your vision of the Semantic Web one in which data is freely available, or are there access rights attached to it? a lot of information is already public, so one of the simple things to do in building the new web of data is to start with that information. and recently, I’ve been working with both the u.K. government and the u.S. govern- ment in trying not only to get more information on the web, but also to make it linked data. but it’s also very important that systems are aware of the social aspects of data. and it’s not just index access control, because an au- thorized user can still use the 24 right data for the wrong purpose. % 73
  25. 25. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| berners-lee [Continued] So we need to focus on what are facturing schedule to meet our gerous, or when an ecological the purposes for accessing dif- demand. however, we do not catastrophe happened. we can ferent kinds of data, and for that license you to use it to give to then identify patterns in a broad we’ve been looking at account- our competition to modify their range of data types that resulted able systems. pricing.” in something serious happening, accountable systems are You need to be able to ask and that will allow us to identify aware of the appropriate use of the system to show you just the when these patterns recur, and data, and they allow you to make data that you can use for a given we’ll be better able to prepare for sure that certain kinds of infor- task because how you wish to or prevent the situation. mation that you are comfortable use it will be the difference in I think when we have a lot of sharing with people in a social whether you can use it. So we data available on the web about context, for example, are not able need systems for recording what the world, including social data, to be accessed and considered the appropriate use of data is, ecological data, meteorological by people looking to hire you. For and we need systems for helping data, and financial data, we’ll be example, I have a GPS trail that people use data in an appropriate able to make much better mod- I took on vacation. certainly, I way so they can meet an ethical els. It’s been quite evident over want to give it to my friends and standard. the last year, for example, that my family, but I don’t necessar- we have a really bad grasp of ily wish to license people I don’t Ultimately, what is one of the the financial system. Part of the know who are curious about me most significant things the reason for that might be that we and my work and let them see Semantic Web will enable? have insufficient data from which where I’ve been. companies may one thing I think we’ll be able to draw conclusions, or that the want to do the same thing. They to do is to write intelligent pro- experts are too selective in which might say, “we’re going to give grams that run across the web data they use. The more data you access to certain product of data looking for patterns when we have, the more accurate our index information because you’re part something went wrong—like models will be. of our supply chain and you can when a company failed, or when 25 use it to fine-tune your manu- a product turned out to be dan- After 20 years, what is it % 73
  26. 26. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| berners-lee [Continued] about the Web—either because there is no common from the mundane to the about its current or future format for this data to become grotesque. Do you think capabilities—that excites integrated into my devices. humanity is using this you the most? now, the vision of Semantic incredible invention of yours one of the things that gets me web is that the seminar’s web appropriately? the most excited are the mash- page has information pointed at Yes. The web, after all, is just a ups, where there’s one market data about the event. So I just tool. It’s a powerful one, and it of people providing data and tell my computer I’m going to reconfigures what we can do, but there’s a second layer of people be attending that seminar and it’s just a tool, a piece of white mashing up the data, pick- then, automatically, there is a paper, if you will. So what you ing from a rich variety of data calendar that shows things that see on it reflects humanity—or at sources to create a useful new I’m attending. and automati- least the 20 percent of humanity application or service. a clas- cally, an address book I define that currently has access to the sic example of a mash-up is as having in it the people who web. when I find a seminar I want have given seminars that I’ve at- as a standards body, the w3c to go to, and the web page has tended within the last six months is not interested in policing the information about the sponsor, appears, with a link to the pre- web or in censoring content, nor the presenter, the topic, and the senter’s public profile. and auto- should we be. no one owns the logistics. I have to write all that matically, my Pda starts pointing world wide web, no one has a down on the back of an enve- towards somewhere I need to be copyright for it, and no one col- lope and then go and put it in my at an appropriate time to get me lects royalties from it. It belongs address book; I have to put it in there. all I need to do is say, “I’m to humanity, and when it comes my calendar; I have to enter the going to that seminar,” and then to humanity, I’m tremendously address in my GPS—basically, the rest should follow. optimistic. after 20 years, I’m I have to copy this information still very excited and extremely index into every device I use to man- The Web is such a mélange hopeful. p age my life, which is inefficient of useful, noble content and 26 and time-consuming. This is stuff that runs the gamut 73
  27. 27. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Number 1 vIdEo vISIoN C millions of users “one of the things I would like to see in the future is large-scale, collaborative video projects. Imagine 300 what the expense would be with traditional meth- ods if you wanted to do a documentary film where C you go to 90 different countries and in each one, you do a one-minute clip asking a person on the street what they think of a certain question like, The number ‘what do you think of global warming?’ or, ‘what do of Internet you think about obama being elected?’ users in china “To get an interesting 90-minute film, you’d need jumped nearly 900 short videos because many of them won’t be 200 42 percent to that great. Then you have to translate them because C 298 million you’re talking to people in 60 or 70 languages. That by the end of would be an enormous undertaking. 2008 from “but with the web, a large community online the previous could easily make that happen. They get 10 or 20 year, according videos per country. They upload them all. The com- to the china munity starts working, finding the funny ones, the Internet touching ones, the thoughtful and serious ones— network because you want to have a mix. That’s just one C 100 Information example of something you couldn’t do in the tradi- center tional way but that you could do with a large com- (cnnIc), a munity online.” state-affiliated research group, Jimmy Wales making china Founder of Wikipedia the country 5 Wales is co-founder of Wikia, a consumer- index with the most publishing platform that enables communities to 0 Internet users in the world. create their own wikis around shared interests such as food, politics, and entertainment. C 27 73
  28. 28. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| , W think big, think long X 8 9 “when data of any sort are Paul Saffo S placed in stor- Technology forecaster age, they are 5 Saffo explores technological change and its impact on busi- filed alpha- ness and society. He teaches at Stanford university and is a betically or visiting scholar in the Stanford media X research network. numerically, and informa- “The Internet indirectly came out tion is found (when it is) by tracing it of the space program, daRPa’s down from subclass to subclass. ... The research, and the whole climate human mind does not work that way. It of ‘anything’s possible,’ the moon operates by association. with one item shot, apollo, and all that. The In- in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next ternet resulted from our going into that is suggested by the association of space, and the web came out of thoughts, in accordance with some intri- ceRn, which of course is concerned cate web of trails carried by the cells of with going in precisely the opposite the brain.” —Vannevar Bush, 1945 direction: into the very small, into the inner space of atoms. “The parallels for today are hugely important. aRPaneT and then the Internet took off because we had an environ- “What does it mean … to ment where people were allowed to think big and think long, become immortal through and to build things that nobody was sure would actually words pressed in clay—or take off. I love that story of when Tim [berners-lee] took his … through words formed proposal to his boss, who scribbled on it, ‘Sounds exciting, in bits and transferred though a little vague.’ but Tim was allowed to do it. over the Web? Is that “I’m alarmed because at this moment in time, I don’t think not what every person there are any institutions out there where people are still al- longs for—to die, but to be index lowed to think so big. while we celebrate the arrival of this known forever?” marvelous thing, the big question we should be asking our- —John Battelle 28 selves is, ‘are we stifling the creation of the future webs?’” 73
  29. 29. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 35 yEarS of coNNEcTINg “I first started getting excited about groups of people legends, and hoaxes. Scurrilous political rumors are communicating socially in 1985, when I became in- believed, stupid things like ‘pass this e-mail along, and volved in the well, which I called a virtual communi- bill Gates will pay you $5.’ and, more seriously, people ty. It was based on the computer that cost about three with illnesses are getting great information but also quarters of a million dollars, and you had to get bad information. an expensive software license to run your “My personal challenge, what I’m work- own bbS. ing on for the next few years, is lit- “now, you probably carry 10,000 eracy. I’ve written about 21st century times that much computer power literacy, about attention literacy, in your pocket, with your iPhone about Twitter literacy, and about or blackberry. and you don’t crap detection 101. (and by the have to pay for any license. You way, it’s legit to use the term can start a Google group. You ‘crap detection.’ It’s a quote from can create a Meebo chat room hemingway.) People need to and drag it to a netvibes RSS ag- cultivate and understand how to gregator. all are free. who would deploy their attention, participa- have thought that all the knowl- tion, collaboration, ability to deter- edge in the world would be available mine the credibility of information, at your fingertips by asking a question and awareness of how to use networks. correctly to a search engine? we take It’s both a personal necessity and a re- these things for granted, but I’m still marveling at sponsibility to society.” it. “economically, politically, socially, and culturally, Howard Rheingold the web allows people to do things together that Writer and educator they weren’t able to do before. I think in the long run, 5 The author of Smart Mobs, The Virtual Commu- index that’s the most important thing. but I want to add one nity, and other books, rheingold writes, speaks, and caveat. I think we are in danger of drowning in a sea blogs on the social media classroom, cooperative com- 29 of misinformation, disinformation, spam, porn, urban munities, and other topics. 73
  30. 30. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| the Web: a huge turn in our history net has revolutionized how we do business. capabilities. after having worked in the IT argentina back when GIRe was business for 23 years, I can’t imag- founded in 1991, our ine life without the Internet and files interchange con- the web. I rely on it for the news, sisted of 5 1/4-inch weather, social networks, business diskettes or tape reels. and pleasure trips, papers, forums, By Hugo A. Iavarone In 1994, we started to transmit blogs, college finals, the Tampa- b The world wide web has been a life-changing experience for my our files using bbS software with 19200-baud modems. This process laya’s height, renting cars, buying food, checking my bank account, company and for me personally. was slow and insecure. chatting with friends, finding the GIRe is an argentinean company when GIRe first started using the history of any civilization, checking specializing in solutions integration Internet in 1998, the transforma- the dollar and euro exchange rates, for commercial transactions that tion was really fantastic. we had no music, radio programs, checking involve cash flow and information congestion in the telephone lines. calories ingested, video viewing, with high security standards. a we were able to buy network cards and many other things. typical example of one of our key almost immediately as opposed I am truly convinced that my life solutions is the taxes and services to waiting for months. we shared has undergone a 180-degree transi- payment system, called Rapipago. experiences about configuration tion, in an amazing and extremely It offers a service that was provided problems and other technical solu- positive way. I am now able to in the past by financial institutions. tions with other users. understand why information is so GIRe’s customers span a wide later on, we added e-mail solu- vital for our lives, both at work and range of major industries and in- tions, practically replacing the use at home. clude telecommunications provid- of telephones and our paper index ers, credit card companies, and memos. This provided us with the HUgo a. IavaroNE is chief information banks. richest communication system in officer at GIre, buenos Aires, 30 over the past decade, the Inter- our history, including tracking Argentina. 73
  31. 31. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| SHIp aNyWHErE “For businesses, that metaphor of the (global) Village boy information superhighway, tired as it is, “I was born in a village in the South turned out to be exactly right. Inventing of France. especially if you were things like railroads, canals, and high- in the countryside, you had few ways turned out to be good for people friends, maybe 10 or 20, whom you who make physical stuff because they hung out with. now I interact daily could move that stuff around. consum- with hundreds and sometimes ers don’t just have to buy stuff from the thousands of people. I have about local supplier. They can buy it from who- 30,000 followers on Twitter, 6,000 ever is best in their whole catchment on Facebook, and I get 1,000 piec- basin. The Internet has done that for es of feedback a day. information. You don’t just have to use “It has become for me and so whatever information is local. You can many other people the most important way to do anything. It ship information to anyone anywhere. ranges from twittering about a restaurant because you can’t “The key is to have the right filter. That decide which sushi bar is better, to buying a product or finding filter is often what startups make. So, a a job. startup making a cRM tool will enable “I organized a conference in Paris where we gathered 2,000 a business to filter the huge amount of people from many countries. I needed to partner with an air- interactions with customers and figure line company, so I posted a tweet, ‘does anybody know any- out: are there patterns? are a bunch one in air France?’ In two hours, I had a contact, and in two of people complaining about the same weeks, we had done a partnership. thing so we should respond quickly? “So, this is just magic. when you understand that, of course Imagine what it would be like to try to do you share and you focus a lot on that because it’s just much that with index cards and physical mail.” more powerful than anything else.” Paul Graham Loic Le Meur Co-founder of Y Combinator CEO of Seesmic index 5 Graham’s firm has funded more than 5 Seesmic helps users organize access to social networking 140 early-stage startups, most of them apps. Le meur has been named one of the 25 most influential 31 web-related. people on the Web by BusinessWeek. 73
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