There is a new dot-com bubble approaching.
There are a lot of “startups” – people with great ideas, some with seed funding, most without a viable product. The problem is, most of them work on the assumption that a lot of people will use their product; they compete with each other not based on what service they offer, but for our attention.
It’s a tragedy of the commons all over again: even if 20% of these startups were to become successful, we would witness a steep increase of products we could use in our daily life. Now tell me – do you have the time to use more than 2-3 apps on your mobile every day? How about websites, or web services? What if instead of a handful, every day you had a dozen very useful products you *need* to use?
I would never use so many. I would not even remember they exist. Let’s say, I can only use/remember about five apps. Every new one you add to the list makes a less-interesting one disappear (that’s also why google+ will never succeed – because it adds nothing new).
Here’s a prediction: the business of the future will be in aggregating our data. The winners will be those who develop apps that can gather content and make useful stuff with it, using the best service available to get what we need. The phone of the future will not have apps – they will be hidden from the customer. Instead, the phone of the future will be one unified interface that talks with “services”. Sortof what facebook is trying to do, but without the locking in of customers.
In the mean time, most of these startups will crumble, and there will be another burst. Not for their ideas (this time they are great! – unlike in the early years of the third millennium), but because they are competing for a limited resource: our attention as human beings.