In the first boom the internet was going to change the way we did business, everyone from booksellers to potato farmers would experience a paradigm shift and the world as we knew it would change before our eyes.
In the wake of the boom a few niche businesses have managed to find a gap in the economy where disintermediation brought with it real cashflows and the promise of riches. We were also left with a few key phrases, "irrational exuberance" comes to mind, a graveyard of business plans, superbowl ads and paper millionaires.
The VC's turned their eyes towards biotech stocks as the internet funds dissolved and disappeared. A powerpoint presentation, rudimentary html knowledge and an untapped vertical market no longer opened the keys to the safe. This was now once again a rational world in which business fundamentals held sway.
Enter Boom 2.0 in which a beta offering, rudimentary Ajax knowledge and an untapped social market are prying the safes open. No doubt the wake of this boom will see a few stellar companies and its own graveyard of business plans.
The web 2.0 boom is hardly over in fact we have yet to progress through the totally irrational phase but I believe that we are already seeing signs of the next boom.
Any businessman will tell you that the key to expansion is moving a unique product or service into new growth markets, think McDonald's and Coke, perfect your offering and move it into new territories. Google is one company that is setting it sights on globalization as a major expansion plan.
North America makes up 5.1% of the worlds population yet it still accounts for 22% of the world's internet usage.
In contrast Asia accounts for 56.4% of the world population but only 35.7% of internet usage.
Africa which makes up 14.1% of the world's population makes up only 2.2% of its internet users, but is growing at an annual rate of 403.7%. A growth curve that puts it 2 years away from surpassing the current online population of North America.
Companies that currently have a sound online business and the means to take it global will benefit from the next internet boom Web3.0 the third world boom.