Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results—a bust. It’s déjà vu all over again. And since this moment in time is only the beginning of the cycle, the best nuttiness has yet to emerge. Nevertheless, this is not to say that a lot of nuttiness hasn’t already happened.
It very well could be. Once again there’s a dash for the cash with business models that don’t make sense even through a late night vodka haze – the sort of businesses best smothered in their cribs…yet the funding is there.
More from Dvorak:
Each of these bubbles had a distinctive theme. For the dot-com bubble, it was e-commerce—it really should have been called the e-commerce bubble. Everything was focused on how the Internet was going to destroy all existing brick-and-mortar operations. We were told that you’d be buying sandwiches over the Internet and having them delivered the next day by FedEx. Everything was about “eyeballs” and finding ways to attract customers, whether they bought anything or not. Every article in every newspaper in the country parroted the litany as to how you’d be out of business in a year or two if you were not present on the Web in a big way. Of course, this was all crap.
Yup, the “futurists” are often wrong. In this case, most businesses do need to be on the web, but not for any of the reasons that they thought back in the 1990’s. And I did talk to one fellow yesterday who let his site go offline sometime last year, and guess what, he’s not getting any business now. A little guy, with a niche business, who doesn’t sell online, and lack of a site crippled him.
I can see Bubble 2.0, but even worse, I think the next bubble is actually the “What the heck happened to media” bubble. Print media is shrinking fast, radio is a mere shadow of itself, and television, while the best of the three, is fast becoming a melange of hundreds of niche channels – forget about nightly news, the morning show and that drek…
The web is quickly training us that we can get our information for free. Heck, you got the gist of Dvorak’s article here, instead of paying for it by buying PCMag, right?
So from here, where do we go? We have publishers that aren’t making money because their ad base is moving elsewhere, meanwhile we’ve got marketers looking for some way to replace the old tried and true marketing channels. Sounds like a recipe for a “readjustment” to me…