There's a lot going on with the Interwebs, and that's a good thing
There’s so much going on these days that it’s hard to keep up.
And for boys and girls as obsessed with the Interwebs as we are, that’s a good thing. It’s exciting times. In fact, Mark Evans says that These Are the Best of Times, noting that “weâ€™re living in the midst of an innovation revolution.”
And it’s a revolution that is far more stable and sustainable than the web 1.0 years were. Online companies are created with the purpose of making money, for one. And if they don’t, they fail instead of getting rewarded with fresh infusions of bubble-driven cash. Additionally, everything is much cheaper now, with the result being that the barrier to entry is much lower these days. Sure, the market is crowded, but good ideas that are well executed and meet market needs have a significant chance of winning out.
So all that’s to say that there’s no end to online news and activity to pay attention to these days. Only this morning there are a bunch of stories that remind me again of how much activity is going on, how companies around the globe are trying to position themselves for this new age, and how this innovation revolution is upending all things old, new, and in between. Consider:
Big companies are getting acquired by huger ones
To me one of the most interesting things coming out of CBS’ somewhat surprising $1.8 billion acquisition of CNET is CBS CEO Leslie Moonves’ comment about the international aspect and China in particular:
Weâ€™ve always said we would like to expand our international footprint and to have a profitable business in China is a pretty amazing thing to expand from. They have a profitable internet site as well as some publishing businesses there…This is a great plus to be in China because we all know this is a market thatâ€™s going to be exploding in the next few years.
The reaction to the deal on Twitter:
* Leo Laporte: “CBS buys cnet for US$1.8 B. Interesting to see MSM snap up devalued new media companies. They must know something the market doesn’t.”
* Drew Olanoff: ” CBS buys CNET? Lets do the time warp againnnnnnnn! Mind boggling.”
* Rob Hyndman: “CBS+CNET=defense not offense.”
* Fred Wilson: “couldn’t give a rats ass about CBS buying CNET, that’s all about yesterday not tomorrow.”
We’ll have to wait a few years to know if the deal was worth the money. Let’s remember thought that Fox’ $500 million acquisition of MySpace was ridiculed at the time it was made.
And meanwhile Comcast is to announce its acquisition of Plaxo for a price of between $150 and $170 million, according to TechCrunch.
So today alone we have two large tech company acquisitions. Even though the overall economy is iffy and the IPO market is dead for tech companies, acquisitions are continuing apace, which should help continue to fuel VC funding and keep entrepreneurs around the globe up late nights thinking about the next-big-thing.
It’s easy in the US to forget how global things are
The United States is an insular country in many ways. Just as people who live in Manhattan tend to forget that there’s a whole other city (let alone country!) out there, people in the U.S. rarely think about how the Internet is a worldwide marketplace in which everyone’s trying to cut themselves in on a piece of the action.
Again, just from this morning, we see that UK’s Virgin is branching into the Russian Internet market under the direction of Richard Branson, and African countries are working on improving technical infrastructure to expand Internet access across its continent.
This reminds us that barriers to entry are dropping around the world just as they are in the U.S. More competition will increase innovation just as more innovation will increase competition, a positive cycle that will keep the worldwide Internet economy chugging for many years to come.
With all of these thoughts swirling around my mind, it was perfect timing to review The Churchill Club’s annual findings on the top 10 tech trends of the year. Most interesting to me is #10:
80% of the world population will carry mobile Internet devices within 5-10 years
Thatâ€™s a lot of people on the Interwebs. And that’s a good thing.
A little bit closer to home, I wrote in July of 2007 that it’s good times for working online media cultists.
I don’t see that changing anytime soon.