The Silicon Valley correspondent for The Economist looks back on “Six years in the Valley:”
Jaron Lanier, a Valley pioneer, saw behind the Web 2.0 totem of “collective intelligence” an insidious “digital Maoism” that suppressed individuality. Linda Stone, a former Apple and Microsoft executive, observed an unhealthy trend towards “continuous partial attention”, as people spent less time focusing on a single thing or person because they were constantly scanning so many other things—from Facebook to e-mail and their phones—for fear of missing out on some social opportunity.
Perhaps most dangerously, Web 2.0 still had only one business model, advertising, and the Valley was refusing to admit that only one company (Google) with only one of its products (search advertising) had proved that the model really worked.
Add to that, from the same issue, “Internet companies: The end of the free lunch—again:”
Now reality is reasserting itself once more, with familiar results. The number of companies that can be sustained by revenues from internet advertising turns out to be much smaller than many people thought.
I, for one, hope to never hear the word “monetize” again.