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The possibilities are limitless…innovation at work

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A lot has been written about web 2.0 recently – which is to be expected with the Web 2.0 conference happening this week.

While I do not want to join the fray in trying to refine a definition for what web 2.0 is – I wanted to point to an obvious difference between this wave and the web 1.0 wave. Forgive me for stating the obvious, and for repeating what others have said before me (like Jeff Clavier or Joe Krauss), but to me it is absolutely fascinating to see how little resources go into building new products and companies compared to 10 years ago.

Take a look at the richness of iVocalize, Zimbra, Netvibes, thinkfree office, just to name a few. How much money and people do you think went into building those apps? Tens of millions of dollars? I doubt it – and as a matter of fact I know for sure about a few of them.

Many of the new web 2.0 companies are built by a few passionate individuals – and with budgets that fit on credit cards. And forget about traditional marketing expenses – it’s all word-of-mouth, sometimes enhanced with a few dollars worth of search engine marketing – but gone are the days of expensive direct marketing campaigns and traditional promotions. It’s all about influencing the influencers – but more on that later…

The fun part is that this trend will only accelerate. Think about when the re-mixing/mashup age goes mainstream – then everybody will be able to become an app publisher – just like everybody already can be a content publisher.

I’d love to see an update on the total amount of outside investment that has gone into building the web 2.0 innovation wave vs. the web 1.0 wave. I remember Business Week quoting a number in the double digit millions vs. double digit billions earlier this spring.

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