Friday, September 5, 2008

Self Perpetuating Web 2.0 Hype

I've been reading a bunch of things in my Google Reader "Computing Scan" folder. This is my high noise, quick read folder where I expect to find one interesting thing every 20 entries or so. This includes blogs such as Hacker News, TechCrunch, CrunchGear and GigaOm. That's quite enough for 500+ entries / day.

I read a bunch of entries like this one from HN that talks about sharing screenshots on the web and a startup to do the same. So lets talk about this:
The problem: How do I share a screenshot.
Solution: Use

Like. Seriously?

Sharing screenshots was such a big market opportunity that you created a startup around it? Oh and btw, it shares music too or videos or whatever files you want.

Again. Seriously?

Like there aren't half a dozen companies that have tried doing this over as many years and have had moderate to no success.

I'm all for startups, all for ideas. I'm not an entrepreneur but hope to be one someday. I do believe in ideas that are worth something. That have some hope of solving *a real problem*. Some hope of making money. This seems rather ridiculous.

Finally, on to the subject of the post itself.

I feel that a bunch of startups today - *especially* the YCombinator kind, solve problems that are largely "Web 2.0" problems. By this I mean, problems that 90% of the web doesn't have because they don't use the tools that have these problems.

I don't mean to trash YC. Clearly, their strategy works. As proven by Xobni and Omnisio and a bunch of others, they have companies that create value. Their approach to finding these companies seems to be to micro fund anyone that is willing to put in the work and create a small feature-like company. But a lot of these companies are solving micro problems that are created because other companies with web-2.0 type sites haven't caught up to them.

Please give me a YC company that is solving a *real* *hard* *problem*.

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