Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Calling Something by its Proper Name

This morning's San Francisco Chronicle had an interesting analysis piece by Verne Kopytoff on the current prospect for startup entrepreneurs in today's economic conditions. Publication was probably motivated by the fact that the Web 2.0 Expo starts today and runs through Friday at the Moscone West convention center here in San Francisco. Whether or not his analysis is a sound one, I have to give credit for Kopytoff calling this gathering an "Internet industry revival meeting," thus having the guts to acknowledge that these meetings are more about evangelism than they are about technology. He made this point not only by appealing to a religious tent show as a metaphor but also through his implicit omission of the noun "value" in his article. The closest he gets is when he talks about valuations of startups; but serious discussion of value seems to be taboo among technology evangelicals, just as faith-based politicians have their taboo concepts (such as "recession"). Since I continue to hold to the precept that the very concept of Web 2.0 is little more than patent medicine for the technology age, if not more harmful than most of those old nostrums were, I shall be interested to read the reports of how many of "the faithful" actually pay for admission to this year's tent show and how many are more interested in current assets than in promises of wealth!

No comments: