The real story of Web 2.0 has little to do with the bells and whistles and everything to do with the stunning growth of online advertising. If you look there is a valley between the dotcom spending days (99/2000) and today, but the trend line would be fairly straight if you held a ruler over the 97 to 2006 points–which I do here with the black line.
That dotcom overspend, and the dip after it, shouldn’t have happened. Those swings were due to the emotional roller coaster of the dotcom bubble on the way up, and four huge events after: the dotcom bubble bursting, the accounting scandals, 9/11, and the brief recession caused by those first three.
Is the spike over the past year another bubble? I don’t think so, I think the curve is getting more steep due to the following facts:
a) there are more advertisers online today.
b) it’s getting easier to spend money online
c) Google Adsense/Adwords (a huge part of part B above)
d) Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Google reaching scale, which in turn allows major advertisers to reach comparable audience sizes to TV
e) audiences shifting from TV, radio, and magazines to the Internet.
How far will this trend line go? Think 20 more years of similar growth.
Will it get steeper? Absolutely.
Why? Video and audio advertising hasn’t even started to move to the Internet in a major way.
The first 10 years of this industry have been amazing, but the next 20 are going to be insane.
OK, I shouldn’t have written this blog post… I should have done a podcast I know. I’m going to do one tomorrow… I promise.
PS – One final thought… if I’m wrong and the increased pace in the past couple of years is not sustainable, this is what the trend line looks like (about 10-15% less):
So, if we do have an outside factor issue (think: war with Iran, war with North Korea, housing bubble bursting, serious terrorist attack–or 2-4 of those events) you can expect a 10-30% dip as we witnessed from 2000 to 2002. Be ready for anything, but believe the *long-term* hype.
PSS – Wikipedia is the ~#15 site on the Internet and it will be the #1 site on the Internet within 12-24 months. It could make a large chunk of this money and feed it into dozens of projects (online and off) to make the world a better place. Think: 10M of the “one laptop per child” machines–per year!