DotCom Boom & Bust was Minor Setback

e-Biz sounds awfully passe already, but as Business Week’s special issue, “The E-Biz Surprise” (May 5, 2003), noted, “The Web is the same age color TV was when it turned profitable.” It’s gonna need a new name but e-everything has barely started, and the technological capability aspects of it are arriving plenty fast. That’s not (never been) the problem.

The Futurist: The Intelligent Internet. [via FN4] This long review of “The Intelligent Internet – The Promise of Smart Computers and E-Commerce” By William E. Halal actually reads very naively and uncritically about the many technology advancements it catalogues arriving around our ears. What it doesn’t really address is the “business modelling” side, though it does identify the problem …

Cynicism persists over unrealized promises of AI …. forecast for a glorious IT future may seem extravagant amidst the dismal mood of IT today …. main obstacle is a lack of vision among industry leaders, customers, and the public as scars of the dot-com bust block creative thought.

Cracked record time … this is the memetic problem, which the web suffers from in spades. “Next big things” circulate at the speed of light, particularly if they’re catchy and easy to understand, whether or not they are likely to be successful in any pragmatic sense beyond the marketeers wet dream. This would be an annoyance, but for the fact that such traffic noise drowns out the possibility of analysing the more difficult (human) questions, whose answers might actually create uses for us (humans) amidst the free-for-all.

Evolution leads to dead ends as well as progress, you know.
“We do these things because they are difficult, not because they are easy.” JFK

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