The Internet is old news and boring.. Deal with it

The Internet is Boring. Its old news.

THe biggest compliment I can pay to the net and to all those pioneers who got it to this point is that its boring. It works. It’s not perfect, but it works andhasabsolutely become a utility. We get water, electricity and now digital bits shipped to our homes. Its our choice whether to purchase any of the above, and we tend to choose all 3.

I dont get excited about enhancements made to the electrical or plumbing infrastructure andI no longer get excited about the marginal enhancements being made to our digital distribution infrastructure.

We havent seen anything new for the net itselffor years.

Web 2.0 ? Not as exciting as going from Dos to Windows. Not by a long shot. Heck, its not as excitingas going from WordStar and all its keyboard combinations to WordStar 2000 was. Now that was progress !

Broadband ? Been around for years. Remember @Home ? Most of you probably cant, which shows just how long its been around. When did ISDN come and go ? Sure connections are getting faster, butthe net throughput for downstream and upstream bandwidth to the home have increased by a only few Mbs IN THE LAST 10 YEARS !

The prospects for the next few years are about the same. Maybe you will get fiber to your house. Maybe not. But your connection is only as fast as the rest of the people in your neighborhood let you get. Your network connection throughputwill continue to be limited not only via provider capacity constraints, but by usage of your neighbors. Its our net and it is what it is.

But what about all the new things you can do with the net ?

Web Based Applications ? Are they much more advanced than writing multi user based network applications accesible via dialup ?

And come on now, blogging ? If GeoCities had created a script to add dated journal entries and gotten rid of those ugly floating ads that made everyone hate it, would this be posted on GeoBlogMaverick ? And my goodness, if GeoCities had the foresite to add the Myspace concept of friends instead of rings and host people’s media files, would we call it a revolutionary social network ? Or just a webpage and file hosting service ? Which is exactly what Myspace and other social networks are.

There is nothing “oh my god” unique that has happened on the net in forever.

What we have seen are incremental applications that have been powered by the amazing ongoing drop in pricing of PCs, hard drives, memory and BACKBONE (not last mile) bandwidth.

None of which are “the internet “

In 2000 at Broadcast.com, I remember SPLURGING and buying 500MB drives for our programmers and our servers. They cost almost 1k dollars per drive. I remember sitting with drive manufacturers and telling them that if they could get my cost down to 1 dollar PER MB, i would step up and make a big purchase. They couldnt do it.

Today ? I can buy a 4GB Compact Flash card for $70. A Flash Drive for not much more. (By the way, when is someone going to do a box that bonds flash drives across USB ports as a single Drive ???, or let us create a HUGE ram drive using Ram Memory for video media server apps ?). I can buy 1k times as much storage as I could 6 years ago for $175 dollars.

Back then, the PC to host those servers cost thousands of dollars ea. The applications we ran had minimum CPU requirements. Have you noticed these days that its almost impossible to NOT buy a PC that is fast enough to run any application you want to run ? Do we even pay attention to how fast processors are any more ? Are there any apps we cant run with an off the shelf PC that costs 500 bucks and has 1gb of memory ?

The net hasnt made the net better. Its better pricing, capacity and performance for all the things we use to run all the applications that attach to the net that have made the net better

Flickr, MySpace, Digg, Google, Filesanywhere.com, Goowy.com, IceRocket.com, YouTube, etc, etc, all happened and have had an impact because the cost to create each of these companies have fallen to next to nothing.

Want to create a Youtube video ? The camcorder, PC with editing ability, and home broadband connection have all fallen in price.

Want to create the next Youtube ? The cost to host and store all that video has fallen a THOUSAND times versus the cost 5 years ago. The quality of video delivery for someone with a 1 or 2mbs home broadband connection hasnt changed all that much, and where it has, its more attributable to encoding and codec enhancements than any internet throughput improvements. Of course its not easy or cheap to scale to millions of users… because the internet itself hasnt gotten better !

I can say without any doubt in my mind that if Overture had popularized Cost Per Click a few years earlier and costs for computing equipment were in 2000 what they are today, the hot sites of today would have been the hot sites of 2000.

Its not the net, its the applications stupid !

Falling costs to create , host and deliver digital bits enable entrepreneurs to be entrepreneurial. Kids can save enough money these days to buy a computer and create applications their friends can use and maybe even buy year round for less than they can buy a decent lawnmower to mow lawns with only in the summer. Its the brainpower that is changing our world. THe internet is just a utility to deliver the digital bits they create.

I cant wait for my daughter to ask me why people used to get so excited about the internet and I can tell her that after the first few years it made no sense to me either.

The net is boring. Get over it.

121 thoughts on “The Internet is old news and boring.. Deal with it

  1. So it\’s not just me thinking this as well…

    Comment by DaveI -

  2. When you write:

    “Its not the net, its the applications stupid!”

    Surely this is just a semantic trick? When most people say “the Net” or “the Internet”, or “the web”, or similar, at least in popular usage, which is where the excitement is that you rant against, they mean the applications, not the plumbing. Man in the street doesn’t care about the plumbing or even understand it – what he cares about is myspace.com, or flickr, or whatever other service (i.e. app) is out there that gives him some pleasure or utility.

    Geocities? Forget it. That’s precisely the point – Geocities did NOT think to shape their service in those ways you mentioned and so here we are now, with blogger, wordpress, et al, myspace and the like. And lots of people are loving it. Boring? Tell that to the 75 million on myspace. Doesn’t matter to them. It gives them utility, it’s what they want, and they drive the market ultimately.

    Comment by David -

  3. Pingback from http://jasonkolb.typepad.com/weblog/2006/07/the_technology_.html

    Comment by Jason Kolb -

  4. If the internet represents the new age “industrial revolution” how can it be boring at such a young age?

    Granted it is not as exciting as it was (the new factor is gone) but the revolution continues.

    Comment by Laz -

  5. The cost of entry for a skilled engineer to create a compelling and popular website is low. But the psychology to attract and hook users is at a peak of difficulty. Back in 1994, a website listing some guys CD collection was relatively popular. Today, you have to think like a drug dealer, and push ideas to people who desire instant gratification.

    Comment by RazorbaGuy -

  6. What is not boring is the influx of new ideas and some of them are in blogs.
    In my blog, Back Be Better, I am trying to help people relieve back, neck and shoulder pain and expressing that help in layman or basic terms.
    I am also trying to use the best of the net by bringing articles and stunning photos together to help and entertain.
    I hope http://backbebetter.blogspot.com will actually make a difference in people’s lives.

    Comment by dave gershner -

  7. Yes. Thank you. Back when the Internet was this shiny new thing that no one had ever seen before, it was like discovering a whole new world… but that was then. Now, anyone with a computer can do anything they want if they have the right application to do it for them. Websites were out of reach if you didn’t know HTML but then website generators came along. It’s still good to know your code but it’s no longer required if you have the right application.

    I remember when every website was something you had never seen before and now, they’re a dime a dozen. Search Engines? Take your pick. Places to blog? Just pick somewhere and do it. You want to be the next Hemmingway or Stephen King? Forget getting a publisher, just go to a website that’ll let you post what you write and hope people will read.

    Once, the Internet was indeed a parallel universe to our own, another life if you will. Now it just another part of our lives. It’s no longer “Wow!”… it is indeed more like “Big whoop.”

    Comment by Rebeccalee Coventry -

  8. I guess there are no more investment strategies with high growth. On to self cleaning toilet companies!

    Comment by Bradley Twohig -

  9. Mr. Cuban,

    The internet is one big money making scheme. It has made people so attached to it that people have to visit some web page for absolute no God forsaken reason. Seeing this, many companies use this to draw viewers to their sites, which causes a chain reaction of other advertisers to make contracts with their site giving them more money. Then the brainless zombie user clicks on those ads visiting a new site drawing in more revenue for the clicked site and the original site that hosted the ad.

    … its gone too far. Now Google is forced to pay some companies money just because people searched them up in the google search engine and visited their freaking site.

    What the hell?

    The internet has made the world a much weirder place.

    Comment by Ikram -

  10. Mark,
    I read you blog and it makes me upset. If things weren’t so money-driven there would be progress. I for one do not believe that companies spend any more that they have to to keep an R&D department alive and that is only for publicity. The TCP/IP Protocol, Google, and other discoveries occured at research oriented institutions. I agree that alot of crap comes out of research, but you can’t always win when discovering new things or unraveling a mystery. Today all that matters is making the next buck, and our society (not just you) is to blame. Being a former researcher myself I question whether to continue in this area. There is no funding nor decent compensation. If you want things to “get better, and be less boring” fork over some money and pay researchers to discover new things. I am tired of the seeing smart, motivated researchers get discouraged because they have to fight and scratch to make it in this world. Universities are begging for students in graduate studies, but no one wants to attend. Why is that? Again everyone needs to eat and stay warm. There are too many greedy people, and this will not change until people start caring about each other and not just themselves.

    Comment by john -

  11. People need to think about satisfying a customers’ unmet needs. That is what innovation is all about. Solving UNMET NEEDS.

    Companies can design new products, user experiences and flashy services all day long but these things are easily replicable and imitated in a matter of days.

    Take Sandisk (flash-memory), for example, its one technology with multiple applications satisfying a host of unmet needs and has spawned a host of other products.

    This era of Web 2.0 is just like the Internet boom/bust days. Few real applications that solve a real problem that make real money.

    Comment by Anil Rathi -

  12. The thing about “only as fast as your neighbors let it be” is untrue. Only cable internet is shared bandwidth. All other choices for wired, broadband internet are not shared (DSL, fiber, ISDN – not that anyone still uses it, etc). The great wiring of countries like South Korea and Iceland are not based on shared bandwidth models, either.

    Which is a great reason… not to use cable! (The Internet access offered by the cable companies all sucks, anyway.)

    Let’s not forget the failed Net Neutrality law, either, folks. It won’t “just work” for long unless something happens in Congress.

    Comment by Amy Hoy -

  13. Hey Mark, what’s so cool about the wedge, pulley, or wheel?

    The internet was never supposed to be anything more than a file sharing program. That’s it. Boring? Maybe. But an extremely powerful tool nonetheless.

    It was built to impress you or make you think it was really cool.

    You know, us CS grads should just keep all of our toys to ourselves. Nah, too much money to be made.

    Comment by Seth -

  14. Exactly! I remember about 9 years ago when I got my first email address and instant messaging through AOL. Of course I was in high school at the time, but I thought it was just the coolest thing ever that I talk to my friends anywhere with the IM and we could all email…now of course I am over it. I was actually over it pretty soon after it started and most of my email was just SPAM or “forward it to 10 people and get a million dollars.” Which still never works, by the way! NOt saying I don’t use the internet to pay bills, shop online and keept tabs with friends and family. I do. I also took some of my college classes online, which I loved. But the thrill is over…no excitement comes from the internet anymore. Makes me life easier? Yes! Excites me? No way – thanks for pointing that out.

    Comment by Nina -

  15. So let’s talk about what is exciting. The only problem, is I can only think of a few things, and the main two being content delivery, and communication. BB is allowing users to get any piece of information almost instantaneously as it is published. An issue, which was addressed in yesterdays post, is the delivery of live HD quality content. Operative word is LIVE.

    Other than that, the net makes my connectivity and communications tasks a bit simpler, but it removes personal relationship building as a downside. But on the upside, it makes accessibility to people like Mark easier, as long as these once inaccessible or at least difficult to access people embrace the technology as well. Mark has, that’s his livelihood.

    Perhaps the Internet in all of its boring glory will shift back to a useful technology and not a required technology. I will say that at least IM and other communication concepts that are net enabled are better than no communication or conversation at all, but where is the line drawn?

    I love to rant about this stuff; I have spent the last 20 years looking forward to the day I could communicate to anyone from anywhere, but at what cost?

    Comment by Wayne Downing -

  16. Wikipedia is really different from those sites you mentioned and is very exciting. Not just because it is a broad base of information, not because it is user created/moderated but because no one has ever to my knowledge created a tome of this much obscure information.

    The wiki project is exciting, entertaining and has the oportunity to really change the way people learn and contribute their knowledge. Its mainstream use and explosive growth recently is not at all boring.

    Comment by Mark -

  17. Mark,
    http://www.web2.0investing.com/?p=11

    Comment by Alex Churchill -

  18. Mark,
    What about this:
    http://www.web2.0investing.com/?p=10
    I can’t see how, other than with the increased acceptance of the idea of social networks that something like this would have been possible in the Geo-era. Is this new in a technological sense? No, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something new on the Internet. In this case, the fact that people are willing to do it is the message.

    Comment by Alex Churchill -

  19. Wow. Mark! Im really surprised that you don’t get this better. You have always been so focused on understanding the psyche of the market you are trying to serve (I assume you want to serve the Internet marketplace in your various ventures).

    What you are describing is the “normalization” of a net-supplemented culture. The reason “you” (and I for that matter) consider it boring is that we have seen the iterations from day one. However my 11 year old who is just starting to chat is normalizing himself to this communications medium. If you want to be eliteist (as you sometimes are) you could say that the world is “catching up” and assimilating the tool.

    I say that IS the killer app we have always hoped for.

    Comment by ethigent -

  20. Wow. Mark! Im really surprised that you don’t get this better. You have always been so focused on understanding the psyche of the market you are trying to serve (I assume you want to serve the Internet marketplace in your various ventures).

    What you are describing is the “normalization” of a net-supplemented culture. The reason “you” (and I for that matter) consider it boring is that we have seen the iterations from day one. However my 11 year old who is just starting to chat is normalizing himself to this communications medium. If you want to be eliteist (as you sometimes are) you could say that the world is “catching up” and assimilating the tool.

    I say that IS the killer app we have always hoped for.

    Comment by ethigent -

  21. To paraphrase Dr Johnson– when a man is tired of the internet he is tired of life. I find it entirely fascinating for research and information and feel we are in a renaissance of wisdom and the search for knowledge and creativity. And thats just for starters!

    Comment by h s maub -

  22. The internet is not boring. It is the most exciting happening in the history of humanity. It marks a new era, the voice of the many is finally being expressed in a scene other than mob violence. Sure the majority of content is of no interest but that’s only because it’s scope is so vast, so only the minority of it’s content is of interest to any specific individual and any individual is only capable of taking in only the tiniest fraction of all the content that is becoming available. But then of course the restructuring humanity into a new society that will be the vision of the many can be boring to some, admittedly it will take some time and for the ringtone generation it will take longer than their miniscule attention spans.

    Comment by Robert T Brklje -

  23. Although the internet may be old, I am still discovering new things everyday. I hope when it finally becomes old to me, someone (maybe you) will have thought of a way to make it new and unique again.

    Comment by Lucky -

  24. You’re going to look good holding Dairy Queen ice cream.

    Comment by King Bastard -

  25. Mark, you have now mentioned filesanywhere.com at least twice. I hope you are not wasting your money there. Why not buy a 40Gb laptop hard drive for $70, a hard drive enclosure for $30, and a USB cable for $10? For about the same price as only one year of filesanywhere.com service, you now have a backup drive of up to 40Gb (not 2Gb) and you truly can take those files anywhere! I’m amazed how many people don’t know how easy and cheap it is to backup your files this way.

    Comment by onetwu -

  26. It’s late, not enough time to get through all the comments to try to avoid rehashing…

    “Boring” is subjective. The internet is not boring to me at all. Every year brings new turns, some lame, some great.

    I was grabbing MP3s well before iTunes, but iTunes is great. Sites like YouTube where anyone can publish their most inane habits or most creative ideas is astounding.
    They may not be amazing ideas in themselves, but I sure enjoy them.

    If nothing else, it still great to play cards online with my college buddies who are scattered across the country.

    Finally, I develop online training for a living. We are just starting to realize the benefits. Online training now is seeing the same jump in effectiveness as it did with the advancement of CD readers from 2x to 24x. Training and education provided online has HUGE promise.
    But I may be biased.

    Personally, I find basketball rather boring, but that’s also subjective…
    KM

    Comment by Koolmoe -

  27. So, let me get this straight…

    – Web 2.0, blogging, etc, are boring, nothing new and interesting under the sun. This, for the purposes of this discussion, is “the internet”.

    – What’s gotten better is affordability of hardware, backbone bandwidth, etc. This is not, for the purposes of this discussion, “the internet”.

    – All that affordability has enabled cheap, easy creativity, and a host of new applications like Flickr, YouTube, even Google — “It’s not the net, it’s the applications stupid!”

    So you’re saying web 2.0 is boring, but incremental advancements in hardware tech have enabled web 2.0, and that’s really interesting! You know, as opposed to in the early days, when advancements in internet applications had nothing to do with falling hardware and bandwidth costs. Your viewpoint isn’t even wrong, it’s totally incoherent.

    Also, your comment about bandwidth to the home increasing only a few Mbs in the last 10 years is asinine. The bandwidth to the *average* home has been on a steep upward curve these last ten years. The reason the *maximum* hasn’t gone up as fast is that, until very recently, there was very little reason for consumers to *want* more than broadband speeds to the home.

    When I think of interesting new things happening on the internet, I think of: Google Maps in hybrid mode, on my cellphone, as I walk to my destination; Skype et al. redefining the telephone as an internet service for the mainstream; my friends finding dates pre-filtered for various personality traits on OkCupid; regular news updates from ordinary folks on the ground in Iraq.

    Comment by Steven Hazel -

  28. Agreed.

    Teleportation is what “they” should be working on. That and exploring and understanding the ocean. SO much of that thing is unknown.

    Comment by Todd Johnston -

  29. The internet is the same as always, but I can’t help but get intrigued by the next great website idea that will come soon enough.

    Things like My Space, Facebook, YouTube are all just really good ideas for websites.

    Comment by Ron Jumper -

  30. The amazing part of the internet is how quickly it has become a utility. I wonder what will come next to top the internet. I hope it will be a cheaper, quicker mode of transportation.

    Comment by Ben -

  31. I’m glad that you mentioned that you can’t wait until your daughter asks you what the big deal about the internet “was,” Mr. Cuban. I am not quite 25 years old, single, and nowhere near having a kid of my own. However, I’ve often wondered what will be “it” when I have kids, when the ‘net will be, for the most part, “a thing of the past.” I wondered this before I even had any idea that I would be this old before I became a daddy. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, the computer in general will more than likely be something that we speak of in past-tense. That is unless someone comes up with something outstanding in a hurry! In closing I say, kudos to you!!!

    Comment by J.T. Colvin -

  32. I’m reading some of these comments and I must say that they, for the most part, are very succint, insightful, and well thought out…quite frankly much more so than the original article.

    In a way it almost seems like you are fishing, Mark, by having your responders give you fresh insights and ways of looking at things that you can use as inspiration for potentially entering another avenue for a business. After all, you can’t honestly think that the Internet is boring anymore than you think, for instance, cars or airplanes are “boring” and the reasons you listed mostly don’t make sense, and indeed conflict with each other and with your original argument.

    If so, got to admire the subtleness on your part. Subtle usually isn’t your strong suit.

    Comment by Jason -

  33. old news is nesessary but it is too much
    The web has more capacity to support.
    It’s gonna good or bad, let it be in the market

    Comment by windywzz -

  34. hey, u obviously dont play computer games. computer games that are heavy on 3d graphics / real-time rendering still require some major power and video technology is not even close to satiating graphic artists. for me to play the latest computer games, i gotta upgradate my video card.

    Comment by jason -

  35. Mark – I concur wholeheartedly – along with a ton of other Boom/Bust Alumni. I worked at XOOM.com/NBCi back in the late 90’s and we had it all. Personal home pages with wysiwyg page building(now called blogs), file storage (music, video, etc.), file sharing, reminder service etc.

    So, why don’t you and I start a new greeting card service. We can call it “Social Responding” and sell it to Fox (the new Excite!) for some ridiculous amount.

    Kudos!

    Comment by Dorian -

  36. Mark —

    Very hard to argue with you. I got into the web business a big skeptic, and have found that the net is really old news. You’re also right that it’s the quality of the applications and building a business model on improving that application and expanding beyond it (i.e. better wireless technology, hi-def, digital, etc) that will drive the drive “net-based” businesses in the future.

    Comment by Brad -

  37. I agree that Web 2.0 is a complete load of crap and that its the same idea that’s been out there forever.

    Innovation is 5% and imitation is 95% – we’re all still imitating. (although i’m seeing some innovation with the movement onto TV- finally)

    But it all comes back to what the purpose of the web 2.0 and projects really are – what the purpose of the internet really is. In the beginning of dial up – the internet was made as a place to provide access to information and self promotion. The early guys of AOL and Prodigy got that. What’s so different with MySpace than what they provided? Group people together with tools such as IM and chat groups. Give them information and search tools. Allow them to listen to music and exchange photos. Then allow them to make a customized personal space. Hmm. sounds similar to what’s still going on today – So why is MySpace such a big deal? Why is this poorly designed, poorly architected project that takes a giant step back in technology so full of momentum? We all know why – but we’re all secretly ashamed that we use this html (don’t even get me started) happy website that offers less of a rich experience than AOL 10 years ago.

    If it’s so boring – then why are you writing this blog –

    And don’t you invest and fund one of these web 2.0 internet things currently that pretty much so is going nowhere and is complete imitation?

    Comment by casey -

  38. I think the excitement you are seeking is lingering from the beginnings when such great strides were taken. Of course it’s not as exciting in 2006. Nothing remains exciting forever. I’ve been married for 13 years and believe me nothing is exciting forever LOL but it can still be good, useful and fun if you want it to be.

    The net’s importance should and does outway the excitement factor. The fact that billions of dollars exchange hands and people can research any topic with the click of a mouse is quite important and to me very exciting.

    Not bored yet
    Mike

    Comment by Film Editing Schools -

  39. Boring is a particularly dangerous idea for an entrepreneur. Generally that means the originator of this thought has grown stagnant. Starbucks made coffee more interesting to the masses and made much because of this.

    Web 2.0 is an evolutionary concept not a revolutionary and more has been made of this then probably should have been (people love pushing the “next big thing.”) But, when you have enough evolutionary advances you arrive at a technology destination that is revolutionary but it is not realized because of the incremental steps to get there.

    While the Internet may seem “old (red) hat” its ubiquitous nature means it has the potential for many advances that you or I have not thought of. The automobile may seem yesterday, but when you do not have one it does not seem boring.

    Comment by Shawn McKenna -

  40. Hey Mark, send a throwaway email address and I’ll send you an “omg” biz plan that is sure to get a whole bunch of people pissed off at you.

    Comment by HighAnkleSprain -

  41. Mav, you are too crisizing. Yes, there is no big progress at last years, but at least it EXISTS. You must be pleased of this. I hope your melanholy will pass in nearest future

    Comment by Candy -

  42. Yes, internet is boring but we all know that every day is born a new user(thousands of users) and our internet businesses are up and running. When I explained one of the systems to build pages and profit from adsense to my father he said: “So as you explained to me, internet is full with crap.” He was right!
    Let’s hope the Sun won’t die soon, but we all know it will die some day.

    Comment by Ivan -

  43. Get a new MacBook…This is where you are still behind the game Cuban. Intel is the way to go.

    Comment by Chris Gallagher -

  44. plain and simple. The fact that you perceive the majority of people still being intensely impressed by the internet proves it is not boring. The fact that it doesn’t entertain you does not make un-interesting. I’m not saying that the majority is always right but when arguing whether something is exciting or not, the majority is always right. Oh, and the Mav’s kick ass. I hope we get Buckner. And we are definitely going to win a championship next year.

    Comment by Dan Hoffman -

  45. Gotta call BS on a few things…

    First, how can you say “It’s not the net, it’s the applications stupid!” while also saying that Web 2.0 is not exciting? Web 2.0 is the applications.

    Second, comparing blogging to Geocities style personal web hosting is like comparing a movie to a picture. It’s the ability to create blogs all the time and have them archived, syndicated, indexed, and received comments on, that makes them so powerful. The concept of making anybody into a content provider really is revolutionary. The closest that old media ever came to such a thing was letters to the editor and America’s Funniest Home Videos.

    Finally, $1000 for a 500 MB HDD in 2000? I remember buying a new computer at the end of 2000. Among other things it had a 20 GB HDD, i.e. a HD that was 40 times the size of the ones you mentioned. The whole computer (with monitor) was $1500. So either you got seriously ripped off, or you’re grossly exaggerating. Maybe if those HDDs were SCSI drives, they might have cost half of what you said.

    Comment by Michael -

  46. He only says that because he already cashed in his chips. Its easy to say, “you are stupid to bet” when you’ve already cashed in with the dealer and are sipping bloodies.

    Comment by Matt -

  47. The internet is just a MEDIUM. It’s the CONTENT that matters.

    Comment by Janson -

  48. Well, hell, Mr. Cuban….I remember when there wasn’t even a remote control for TV… And I’m still blown away by intermittant wipers in cars…I am just freaked out that one can “beam” stuff from PDA to PDA… I guess the fact that I am an average, not technical person, more of an artist is easy determine.
    It doesn’t take much for me to be amazed at how far we’ve come in my lifetime. I agree with your post that nothing much has changed with the Internet in recent years. I can’t help but think of it in terms of my lifetime. It is amazing. I guess it’s all relative. You being a technical whiz would see it differently than someone like me. Great post. Made me think. I love reading your blog. thanks again…
    alma

    Comment by Alma Squillante -

  49. “Flickr, MySpace, Digg, Google, Filesanywhere.com, Goowy.com, IceRocket.com, YouTube, etc, etc,”

    I don’t really think IceRocket.com belongs on this list. If it weren’t for the relentless flogging of it in this blog, I would not have heard of it.

    Comment by M N -

  50. Your right, but everything hits it point of optimization and point of no betterment. The net is the net, you can’t make a new net or another net. you can just make things better. You can’t redeisgn the T-shirt.

    Old Biblical proverb – ecl. Nothing is new under the sun –

    Look at Cable? or how about the NBA? or basketball it is old news. isn’t everything that is popular old news?

    Comment by Richard Bowles -

  51. Mark,

    If the internet is so boring, what are your ideas to either make it better, or to revolutionize the way we communicate? Please let us know. Thanks.

    -Seth

    Comment by Seth -

  52. NO NO NO. I just had to post. It’s not the application. It’s not the data comm. It’s the interface!!! It’s still not there. When there’s a universal interface for the net, it will be revolutionary. The next generation is a portal, a front-end, a data grabber, or whatever you wish to call it, that the “average joe” can easily and effectively set up to provide the presentation to his particular specification (and I’m not talking about a HTML engine).

    It won’t be like the currently available, crummy search engines. It won’t be like the currently used Yahoo or MSN type portals. XML for applications (not application data!!!) is close to the framework needed. I’ll select the particular “presenters (or parameters) of the presentation”, thank you.

    Opening multiple windows, the revolution from DOS to Windows was the first step. Distributed networking and HTML, providing many easily obtainable information sources to a single display was another step. Now we’re waiting for the flexible application layer “application” to appear on the net.

    Think of it as “no unwanted commercials” or “no CDs with unwanted songs” concept. TIVO them all out.

    Technically and practically, it’s a difficult task/product to accomplish. And commercially, not very desireable (argueably). Hopefully, the university environment will take the lead in this endeavor, as they always seem to do, and show us something entirely new to the internet.

    Comment by freeway2000.com -

  53. > The Internet is Boring. Its old news.

    HD TV and Dan Rather are Boring. They’re old news. VBG.

    Comment by Paul Stephen -

  54. Excellent content, you are dead-on!

    Comment by Skeptic -

  55. I agree that the performance of the internet and its evolutionary enhancements are boring (I suppose it’s about frame of reference).

    I believe however, that someone like your daughter or mine is going to think about this utility that’s been created in a way that we never even dreamed of and while the internet as we know it will be boring, the internet as they dream it won’t be.

    Comment by Tim Taylor -

  56. So why don’t you do it, or start up another company to do it?

    Comment by mike -

  57. Good points. You really know what you are talking about. You know what else is boring? The Pittsburgh Pirates. Buy them pleaaaaase.

    Comment by Gabe Jones -

  58. If you refer to the internet as just the ability to connect to your ISP, then yes, it may seem like not much has changed. Aside from the fact ipv6 is on its way and fiber optics are running wild. But not everyone views the internet like that. When you think internet, you think about the stuff you can do while online. That would mean web apps. Fact of the matter is, the internet infrastructure works and would be an immense task to change it all. Sure its not perfect but on to the good stuff. . .

    “Sure connections are getting faster, but the net throughput for downstream and upstream bandwidth to the home have increased by a only few Mbs IN THE LAST 10 YEARS !”

    As a kid I went from dialup 2400baud modems trying to get pictures to load for hours on my 486. Then I went from dsl that gave me 60kb/s (480k) down for 65 dollars a month to Optimum Online Boost 3.75 meg/s for 75 a month. If that’s not progess, you tell me what is. That’s like going from 1915 Ford model Ts to a corvette in just 10 years. Perhaps you should re-adjust your opinion.

    Things that happen on the internet now are no longer on the backburner. The internet is mainstream. The website links we pass around to each other appear on cartoons like Family Guy, ( Penut butter jelly time?). WE, internet users, are creating our own pop culture. Back in the days of my 486, I tried to play mp3s and realized I couldnt because the cpu was too slow. Eventually, the world caught up to the underground mp3 scene. And it changed everything.

    Even web sites themselves have gotten very sophisticated. Just five years ago it would be unheard of for some average joe like yourself to create a blog. People created the web applications, which run with the internet so you cant have one with out the other, to make things as easy as possible.

    Entire programming languages were created (php) that power the backends for most sites. New technologys like p2p were created. Rss feeds, XML, open source browers that actually ahdere to web standards. . .CSS, no more ugly table sites with frames! Give me a break Cuban. Nothing in the world advances quicker than the internet and technology related to computers. Nothing.

    Comment by brant -

  59. You’re right; it’s boring. It was much more fun waiting 4 hours for a 150k Gif to download on my 300bps modem back in ’93. At least I could get outside and shoot some hoops in between.

    However- the one thing I can say is that if you know how to assemble and market (seo) a business website soup-to-nuts you can spend virtually *zero* getting everything in place. To me, that’s still a bit of a thrill.

    Comment by Chris -

  60. The internet is just connectivity, the “how”. Which allows people to do anything at anytime anywhere in the world that they can get connected. The services that are being provided with the utilization of the Internet is where the true value & excitement is.

    Comment by Craig -

  61. Hi Mark, FYI:
    The ability to use several USB-flash sticks as a single drive is already available on Linux. Using the LVM utility you can merge any number of storage devices to act as a single logical filesystem.

    I’m sure something similar must exist for windows.

    As for the rest of your blog entry I think its pretty much spot on. There are and will continue to be problems with rolling out high speed plumbing infrastructure to the regions of America (and the world) which are not in or near urban centers. Since dial up speeds are not fast enough to utilize the newest generation of internet applications this will cause some problems with “good enough access” for the people living in those locations. How will brain power solve that issue and can it overcome the lobbying power of the telecom giants how want to keep things this way?

    Comment by jkin -

  62. I can answer the main question Yes, internet became boring… Already not that as earlier, when was an agiotage

    Comment by Roman -

  63. I was bored with the Internet a year ago, and then I found out about podcasting. Haven’t been bored since. I’m more bored without the Internet…in my car. I’d really like broadband and WiFi built in to the dash.

    Comment by Neal Campbell -

  64. Let me add something here. Many of those hot new dotcoms are struggling to make a buck, despite their traffic, just as much as the first wave of dotcoms were. Big traffic doesn’t translate into revenue. Youtube has never made a penny off me.

    My partners and I own several businesses. The old style ones are far more profitable then the online pureplays. People online are cheap bastards.

    Comment by Beef Jezos -

  65. Mark, Mark, Mark…

    I know you’re smarter than this. What a muddled argument! I’m pretty sure that I might even agree with some of the points you’re attempting to make, but your delivery and the structure of your this diatribe look like a twisted ball of Christmas lights.

    For example, you start out by pointing out that the INFRASTRUCTURE and PLUMBING of the net isn’t changing or progressing fast enough to hold your attention. Then you go right into attacking Web 2.0, which has nothing to do with the infrastructure. It’s an idea about design and services and business.

    But it’s the next part that get’s me: “The net hasnt made the net better. Its better pricing, capacity and performance for all the things we use to run all the applications that attach to the net that have made the net better”

    Huh? So, it’s not the “net”, but it IS all of the parts of the “net”? Wow. My head hurts.

    By the way, the reason the prices are falling is that the growing demand for the services and components of the net has lead, not to higher prices as Economics 101 has tought you, but to greater competition, which in turn has lead to lower prices.

    Please, use some of your billions to take community college course on Argument, Logic and Debate. I really want to believe that you’re a smart guy. I want to believe that you’re the shark at the table and not the chump that keeps catching cards on the river. The more I read your blog, however, the more I lean towards the latter.

    Comment by Jay Howard -

  66. Okay, Mark. I will allow you to use “Web 2.0″ here. But not on my site. It’s banned: http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=98307

    Comment by Phil Harvey -

  67. So what you’re saying is that hardward/infrastructure tends to commoditize and software/information is where value creation happens?

    Boring? No. The typical cycle? Yes. That’s why google and microsoft typically stay out of hardware (unless it pushes their software products). Even apple ties all its software to that hardware. It’s the software. The applications. The human touch.

    This one’s uninspiring. Melodramatic to say the least.

    Comment by PK -

  68. Of course it becomes boring, atleast parts of it, today the average user can start a blog in seconds, and that is installing it on their own server. It gets boring because it is easy and anyone can do it now.

    Goecities would’ve never become Myspace, what drove users away was the advertising and popups.

    Comment by Jimmy Daniels -

  69. I remember when I worked for Tandy Corp and
    the hard drive came out for the first time.
    It was a whopping 8 meg. Huge Drive the case was half the size of my HP computer now.
    Then there was the big 8 inch floppy drives now that was something….

    Comment by Scott -

  70. “Or just a webpage and file hosting service ? Which is exactly what Myspace and other social networks are.”

    I think you are missing the point with that quote. MySpace and other social networking sites are virtual toolboxes that provide individuals the ability to create an online personality. A playground is nothing but an area occupied by crossing tubes, misplaced nets, and some rubber hanging on a couple of chains. Break anything down to its simplest form and you can easily argue its uselessness.

    I do agree that the web has lost a lot of the glamour. The internet has become more of a functional entity than a flashy new toy. Boring though – I’d have to disagree. A tool that allows me to watch live streams from the World Cup or my favorite March Madness games at work is not one that I’d deem “boring” by any stretch of the imagination.

    Comment by Daniel Douglass -

  71. The internet is boring? This from a guy who gets fired up about a sport that’s had maybe 3 significant changes in 50 years?

    Please.

    The internet is the most unboring thing in the history of mankind.

    Comment by Doug -

  72. 33 bored people.

    Comment by PJ -

  73. Mark,
    Seeing where you are coming from, you are right. The internet is boring and someone needs to come up with something quite interesting pretty soon.
    However this only applies to those who have been in the business for quite some time in Africa, the internet is HUGE. We are yet to get most businesses hooked up, leave alone schools and homes. It does look like a dead though end once you get the hang of it.

    Comment by Ken -

  74. See what you did? You wrote a blog and riled up some folks – the sky is falling, the sky is falling. The Internet is old; the Internet is boring. That’s classic. I can’t disagree that the net’s ubiquity turned it to a utility. But here in consumerville the medium is still the message. And as long as the message is good, we’ll continue to pay for the electricity.

    Comment by Bendel -

  75. Bandwidth isn’t the whole story. Latency is also a key enabler. High latency makes real-time applications more difficult. Take Skype for example. In the middle of the day, I never have a bandwidth problem holding a 3-way conversation between SoCal, Colorado, and Kentucky. We all have plenty of bandwidth. But latency sometimes makes us go to normal phones.

    Also, I totally agree with Mark. The Internet is boring at this point. But that doesn’t mean that the next crop of applications will be boring. Look for apps that use the network to connect to each other and deliver content, but use the power of users’ PCs to make the experience super-rich. Also, look for more and more content to fall outside the realm of the browser. Finally, look for these rich applications to be free for basic use, with upsells for power users and ad support for everyone else.

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  76. Mark: Even though your a PodTech alum I think that you’re all ‘wet’ on this post. Come on the Internet is boring – pleezzzz

    I didn’t know you had a daughter but the fact that it is becoming a utility is exciting. I can’t imagine how ‘not boring’ it was for my grandfather to read a book with electric lights rather than candlelight .. or my father watching tv when he never had before… and on and on…

    now I do agree with you on the net in terms of ‘raw plumbing’ or pipes… blame that on the gov’t and politicians – just look overseas and see why our broadband policy sucks.. but you already know this…

    Comment by john furrier -

  77. It’s just a bunch of fancy names for boring technology that lets end users ultimately do cool things. What’s wrong with that?

    Comment by Ross Hill -

  78. For the most I agree with you Mark. The whole Web 2.0 got me excited but in the end it doesn’t do a whole lot because no one has found a really good use for it yet other than making things look pretty. Although the internet may be old, I am still discovering new things everyday. I hope when it finally becomes old to me, someone (maybe you) will have thought of a way to make it new and unique again.

    Congrats on signing Dan

    Comment by totoro -

  79. Yes, like the highway system is boring (except to people like road builders, auto makers, and oil companies, then it’s exciting). But it stimulates a lot of growth in unexpected directions and changes the lives of people like my 80-year-old mother who uses e-mail and googles. So, like the highway system, it’s how it’s used that has the potential for excitement. And, like you say, those are applications brought down to earth to real people who travel over it. Like phone communications, for example. With luck it will improve people’s lives rather than stress them out beyond their biological adaptation.

    Comment by ronniebeegood -

  80. Mark,

    While I do agree with you…I think you are missing the point. It is innovation might have come to the end..but it is now a utility.

    Internet is now like running water…it is vital in our daily lives…you even blogged about getting connected.

    Comment by Kip -

  81. The bandwidth is the enabler of the new applications – as you so well know :-)
    ~~~~~~~~~
    i agree ,nobody knows what is the next application based on bandwidth ,next google,google earth,YouTube,Myspace..etc.

    Comment by green tea fan -

  82. Mark,

    The fact that the internet is becoming cheaper to use means that more people are gaining access to it. For them I assure you the internet is exciting.
    For “pioneers” and “early-adopters” the internet might not be fascinating anymore however they represent a very small percentage of the population.
    For the million of people who can’t tell mouse from a paper weight (who are still out there in the world) and the next generation of techies to come. It is exactly like P.T. Barnum said: “There is one born every minute.”

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  83. Mark,

    The fact that the internet is becoming cheaper to use means that more people are gaining access to it. For them I assure you the internet is exciting.
    For “pioneers” and “early-adopters” the internet might not be fascinating anymore however they represent a very small percentage of the population.
    For the million of people who can’t tell mouse from a paper weight (who are still out there in the world) and the next generation of techies to come. It is exactly like P.T. Barnum said: “There is one born every minute.”

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  84. You are so right. I have a notebook computer and all I do with it is read email and my RSS feeds. I was thinking just the other day how boring the internet has become. I have found some excitement watching TV shows using iTunes.

    Comment by Dalsmavsfan -

  85. Mark,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Being in the IT field I find myself always being asked why I can’t provide more bandwidth to my desktop users. I try explaining to them that I can only provide what is available. They ask for better desktops thinking that this will help them increase their internet speed. I tell them that their machines are more than capable in producing the necessary output required to perform the work they were hired for. The only thing that the internet has increased in is the amount of people who try to stream media on their desktops at work and complain about the performance to their IT staff. I would estimate that 90% of IT related complaints at my place of work pertain to the users wanting more bandwith so they can either stream media or share home movies or jokes with one another.

    Comment by Brad Varcoe -

  86. I couldn’t agree with you more Mark. Everywhere you look now you hear about these supposedly new web concepts – when in reality I recall a good percentage of websites essentially being blogs a decade ago. We posted our thoughts for the day and visitors could discuss it on an old school CGI message board. Sure things are slighly different, but the concepts are the same. We really haven’t seen any innovation. I truly miss the great days of the mid to late 90s when the Internet felt like a small community. It all collapsed soon thereafter and it seems that the entire net was squeezed for efficiency and everything geared toward money. Now it’s essentially more of the same. I’m still sure that great innovation is ahead of us, but this past decade sure hasn’t produced much if you ask me… it’s merely maximized what was already there.

    Comment by Nik Papic -

  87. hey mark!

    i just wanted to say i thought your entry was pretty interesting..i really agree with what you have to say.

    these days costs are driving so low that there is this new search engine, modeled off of google’s popular search engine, only it gives prizes away to people for searching. (its called ‘blingo’). i won two movie tickets off of it. check it out!

    well..it turns out that in the few months that blingo came into existence, the frequency of prizes they handed out really went berserk.

    i always wondered how the heck they could afford to give away these things..from ipod nanos to 200 VISA gift cards to simple movie tickets..and your entry shed light onto how things really work behind the scenes.

    thanks for the insight!
    – taher

    Comment by taher -

  88. Whatever opinion we have on the Internet, one thing is certain: The Internet is here to stay.

    Comment by Stephen Kent -

  89. Mark,

    Do you ever wonder what broadcast.com would be like today you hadn’t sold it to Yahoo? I was a real big broadcast fan up until it was taken over by Yahoo.

    From what I’ve read about what Microsoft is doing, web based applications are the future of software and it could very well be that some day soon instead of buying a Microsoft Office cd, you buy a username and password and access to the Microsoft Office software. It’s global access to all of your files. MS wants to have a live.com component to all of their office products for the Vista release.

    Comment by Brian -

  90. If Geocities had done this. If Geocities had done that.

    Mark, you are missing the point that they didn’t do that. What seems so obvious now in hindsight was not so obvious then because they would have done it. And since Geocities didn’t do it, somebody else did. That’s innovation.

    The best kind of innovation is the one that makes you go “Why didn’t I think if that?”.

    Comment by Bill Napier -

  91. Mark

    You are soooo wrong. Want to get involved in rolling out country-wide 100mb DSL for $50 a month, in 2007 (Yes DSL)?

    The bandwidth is the enabler of the new applications – as you so well know :-). Innovation is trapped until we break through the 100mb barrier.

    Boring, yes, but not the end of history (ie not boring from now on). Not even the end of the beginning. Just a boring interlude due to the big telcos and government policy combining to stifle real innovation here in the US.

    That can end in 2007.

    Best wishes
    Keith

    Comment by Keith Teare -

  92. The Internet may be boring to some at this time, but imagine a world without it. We take for granted things that we have become accustomed to.

    Comment by Maddux -

  93. But then of course the restructuring humanity into a new society that will be the vision of the many can be boring to some, admittedly it will take some time and for the ringtone generation it will take longer than their miniscule attention spans.

    Comment by Toa -

  94. So far, my survey says you are wrong mate :-)

    Comment by Phil -

  95. Hey Mark, I’m working on the next evolution of internet communications, and it’s closely linked to augmented reality (directly expandable into it). It’s called Holocene (http://www.holocenechat.com), and what it does is translate a human’s natural ability to sift through large amounts of information into visual representations on your screen. Right now it’s in Alpha, just barely usable and in 2D, but eventually it can be complimented by a 3D universe. We’re having trouble finding people who “get it” to work with us.

    Anyway, check it out if you’re at all interested. Cheers.

    Comment by cold wolf -

  96. The Internet is now commonplace, however I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is “boring”. A lot of the recent developments (such as blogs) have allowed people to express themselves and communicate more freely.

    It seems to me that the days of using the Internet just for email, news and a few business transactions is gone, Now it is a much more social and interactive place.

    Comment by Pro Blogs -

  97. The net is not boring, you just do not know where to look for things you are interested in!

    use the serche engines, and do not go to the same set of pages you always go to. You will find there is a net behind the net.

    Comment by Dicer -

  98. Bullshit. The net is unexciting to you because you’re a rich white man who has a basketball team. What’s going to excite you at this point, Mr. money bags?

    Comment by Terris Linenbach -

  99. Mark,
    Sure the technological advancements to the internet are no longer profound, but there is great business opportunity to those who recognize a need, formulate a plan, and have the energy, vision, and wherewithal to carry out that plan. Like you mentioned GeoCities could’ve been so much greater if the founders had a greater vision. Instead the founder of myspace is now a millionaire, not because it was difficult program or a revolutionary idea, but instead because he produced a product that appealed to millions of people in a manner that hadn’t been done before.

    Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Ross -

  100. I have to agree with you to an extent. Yes, the Internet has gotten quite boring the past few years, but its possibilities still remain endless. One aspect of the Internet that nobody can deny is that it has made people closer to each other, where sites like Myspace, Webdate, Wealthymen, and Friendster have made the world a smaller place. I still think the Internet has something to prove in the near future.

    Comment by Elizabeth -

  101. Surely you’re mistaken about purchasing 500MB hard drives for the broadcast.com servers in 2000?

    You’d have to go back to 1994 find hard drives costing $2 per megabyte. By the year 2000, hard drives costing 2 cents/MB were available, and consumer PCs were shipping with 10-20 GB drives.

    Comment by Quartz Mountain -

  102. Can’t believe I read through the whole comment stream… but, I did and I didn’t see anyone make this point:

    It’s the system, stupid!

    Not just the applications, not just the racks of servers, not just the last mile of copper – it’s all of these together that make this new technology exciting and progressive!!

    As any one component improves or gets cheaper to produce, the entire system gets better.

    Comment by Steve -

  103. The internet is boring, but essential, now. Imagine life without the internet… I would have to go back to writing letters and mailing them, going outside to get my newspaper, and actually calling people to invite them to a party (now I use evite). While the internet itself is boring, it’s effectively eliminated a lot of boring tasks in my life.

    Comment by Sports Bettor -

  104. ditto. i hate the internet. i acutally found this by typing:the internet is stupid and boring on google.

    Comment by amdirien -

  105. It’s funny that you would say that Web 2.0 is not interesting and then later say that “It’s the applications stupid.” Software as a Service is radically changing how we think about software. In a few years, the basic applications will all be SaaS delivered through the web without any thought. This is BIGGER than the transition from DOS to Windows. And that doesn’t include the radical transformation that’s occuring because of application composition. See: http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2006/03/promise-of-web-20-and-elearning-20.html

    Comment by Tony Karrer -

  106. I don’t think not. I don’t agree entirely to what had you said but that what we called development and competion has a big factor of what changes are happening right now. Yes we don’t get excited about enhancements made to the electrical or plumbing infrastructure and no longer get excited about the marginal enhancements being made to our digital distribution infrastructure. No big deal for me because we can conveniently buy almost anything on a reasonable price unlike on the past. Today we can talk to long distance friends over the internet, on webdate*com, or on cellular phone. Isn’t we? As you said “Its the brainpower that is changing our world. THe internet is just a utility to deliver the digital bits they create”. The internet proves our world develops into a more advanced world.

    Comment by Ed -

  107. I’m always excited by new plumbing in the house. The joy of having six shower heads nailing every part of my body at once with various showerhead patterns puts me in a state of….pure bliss.

    The internet is only as good as the people you communicate with. You can say that it bores you, but for nearly a year, it was my constant lifeline with my cousin in Iraq. Every day I’d drop him a note and he’d respond. It was a good way to keep up his spirits and for me to make sure he was alive. So maybe that wasn’t something invented last week. But it didn’t make me feel jaded about the internet.

    Although the joy of buying inexpensive mega-storage is pure bliss for me. I just had to put in a second hard drive with 300GB and I was trying to remember how much a harddrive went for back in 2000. So now I can cut my HDV without spreading it over 20 different external HDs.

    Comment by Joe Corey -

  108. Commenters, Mark is saying basically what you’re saying… see the summary: “The internet is just a utility to deliver the digital bits they (people/kids) create.”

    Yes, he’s talking about the infrastructure. But that is the true definition of the internet. The WWW, e-mail, IM, apps, etc. are all running on the internet. It is only the physical and network layers. And he’s right, that part is boring.

    Comment by Jason -

  109. I agree and this blog post is boring. Tell me something that I did not realize in 2000. It is all 1s and 0s my friend. People are just finding new ways for organizing them. Computer technology is boring in general these days. I am waiting for the next new lightning bolt to hit. Anti-gravity, cold fusion, etc.. Anything new. Not just a different take on the same old stuff. I love it when someone says it is new technology for doing something. New technology my ass. Just a new way of doing the same old thing.

    Comment by dprime -

  110. You’re wrong Mark!

    Its not the net, its not the applications, it’s the users stupid !

    My 65 year old mom knows how to use the internet to buy stuff. She knows how to use iPhoto upload photos. She knows how to use the net and she knows how to use the applications. In 2000, she barely knew how to send e-mail.

    FWIW, I’ve had fiber running to my house since 1999 and I paid $1500 in 1988 for my first hard drive, a 90MB Jasmine drive for my Mac II.

    Comment by Dennis Whiteman -

  111. technology always becomes less exciting as time goes by. saying the internet is boring is like saying phones are boring; they’re both useful tools that have changed the world, but both have plateaued as to what can make them “better.” do we really need a new internet paradigm — or a new phone paradigm for that matter? they’re alright as is (except of course speed and space — obvious needs, but not revolutionary changes). as you said, it’s the content that matters.

    yet even as we get used to having the new technologies around, it’s okay to sit back every once in a while and reflect on how they’ve changed our lives — or how our children’s mentalities will be different from what our own were in childhood. on a daily basis it might be boring, but the internet has been revolutionary for humankind. sometimes it’s good to think broader than our own narrow personal experiences.

    Comment by hyperballad400 -

  112. I agree with your comment that there is nothing new with the net. But it is still the most interactive medium. Allowing users to control almost every aspect of what they see. Lowing costs will allow entrpreneurs to take apps to new interactive levels. It may be boring to some, but I see it as the best medium out there to retrieve data.
    Keep up the great blogs.

    Comment by Scott -

  113. I think your analysis as opposed to that of others is simply a difference in symantics. Your definition of “the internet” is simply the infrastructure to deliver the digital bits being transferred between users while for most people “the internet” is not only that, but also the actual content being transferred.

    By your strict definition, yes the internet is old, boring, and fairly stagnant. By the common accepted definition, however (infrastructure PLUS content), the internet is as exciting as it’s ever been.

    Also, I humbly submit that Google became so popular due to it’s simple, uncluttered interface AND it’s pretty sophisticated search tracking algorithms…not because the cost to host their site was cheap. Remember, they started up in late 1998 when equipment prices were dropping but still fairly significant.

    Comment by Jason -

  114. “In 2000 at Broadcast.com, I remember SPLURGING and buying 500MB drives”

    Hey Mark, love your blog, but I distinctly remember buying a 17 gig drive in 1998-1999 for about $250ish. I do remember a couple years earlier being amazed at seeing 9gig drives for only $2k

    Comment by gimp -

  115. My much younger brother doesn’t think the internet is anything special. He was born with it around, it’s as basic as the TV he watches. While I think the internet has reached the point where it’s ‘boring’, the large growth in the number of users has made it at least a bit more entertaining than it used to be. I mean, five years ago, there weren’t as many people to chat with through AOL instant messenger and the such. Now it seems everyone has it, making it more interesting.

    Comment by Roxana -

  116. I heard YouTube’s bandwidth costs are $300k per month. That’s a lot of money to recoup at $0.45 CPMs!!

    Comment by Clark G -

  117. Mark, there can’t be a better summary about the internet as it is. Not much has improved to a great deal – stagnant browsing experience, old search paradigm, loose integrations with desktop. The only thing significantly different now as compared to 2000, is that no. of people online has increased by good factors, which has in turn spurred popularit of sites like flickr, youtube, myspace etc.

    Comment by Ashwani Kumar -

  118. I couldn’t agree more – With my mac, and my very cheap hosting costs I can easily share all of my videos, web projects, and identity design projects with people a half a world away. Since I own my computer outright, my overhead costs are nothing, just the time I put into my projects.

    Comment by Ben Parker -

  119. Your right Mark, the Internet is boring, but whats exciting is the same thing that has always been exciting: Business. And with the falling costs that you highlight and the fact that people are “getting” the internet and more and more people are “getting on” the internet more people are coming up with creative (and redunant) businesses. But the exciting things is that these businesses are successful, and by that I mean real profits fueled by real business models. Because the business models are benefitting from the low cost to entry marketing to develop web applications and internet businesses. The internet itself may be boring, but the fact that real, sustainable businesses are harnessing it is great. That is what is different this time around.

    Comment by Chris Schultz -

  120. Mark,
    You are dead on. Finally someone who isn’t swept up in the pastel colors, rounded corners, sliding menus and no viable business model that is Web 2.0. Thanks for saying what at least I have been thinking.

    Comment by Jared -

  121. Yes but this is true of any new revolutionary technology. First its revolutionary (the internet, the microprocessor, the tractor) then its only evolutionary. In my opinion the internet has become an advertising wasteland from a consumer perspective. This appears to be your only view of it. Have you ever gone to a remote clinic where telemedicine is used ? High bandwidth non-consumer applications are the ones that will blow your mind away (i.e. defense, medicine). The Defense Department actually is building their own internet in conjunction with NATO. I hope everyone realizes that most commercial technology use to be propietary military technology at one point (the internet came from DARPA and CDMA came from military technology used in WWII) Once any technology gets commercialized, its the road to commoditization. If you want to see “oh my god” applications, the military/defense/aerospace sector is place to be. They are usually 20+ years ahead commmercial technology.

    Comment by Shake -

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