November 03, 2007

User Generated Companies

You know i'm no fan of the web 2.0 nomenclature, wherein resides my least favorite 'user-generated content'. However, the UGC thang has caught on--that dog CAN hunt it appears. We have gone from being consumers (think pacman) to users (think heroine) in what seems to be a blink of the eye. It all means the same things: we are the targeted.

One thing, though, is that as producers, we are generating stuff. Like entire companies. In my line of work, I have to confess, it makes me smile when an ordinary user becomes an all-of-a-sudden, web20-CEO-founder-speaker-thought-leader. Few months ago the guy liked catching and gutting fish. Now he's the ceo of a well-funded social network called fishpals. Okay so I'm exaggerating. But not buy much.

The thing that makes web 2.o palatable is that regular people who like to do regular things -- goofballs like you and me -- are building companies around stuff they like to do. Now this happened the first time around SORT OF, but during the dot-com days, you remember, it was all about e-commerce. How do I sell you shit without you having to leave your chair. And on the B2B side, it was supply chain optimization really: how do we get shit to and from each other cheaper/faster/better using les internetz.

So, yeah, it's a bubble. Sure it's a bubble. But at least we get to play around with stuff. We have user generated users (friends of friends of friends trying other friends' products/services) and user generated companies (companies started by people formerly known as users) creating a service for every possible hobby/passion/want/need/wish.

Fascinating how it can be so interesting and so damn annoying at the same time.