The Internet is Dead and Boring

A lot of people are all up and upset about my comments that the Internet is dead and boring. Well guess what, it is. Every new technological, mechanical or intellectual breakthrough has its day, days, months and years. But they don’t rule forever. That’s the reality.

Every generation has its defining breakthrough. Cars, TV, Radio, Planes,highways, the wheel, the printing press, the list goes on forever. I’m sure in each generation to whom the invention was a breakthrough it may have been heretical to consider those inventions “dead and boring”. The reality is that at some point they stop changing. They stop evolving. They become utilities or utilitarian and are taken for granted.

Some of you may not want to admit it, but that’s exactly what the net has become. A utility. It has stopped evolving. Your Internet experience today is not much different than it was 5 years ago.

That’s not to say the impact of the Internet on the entire planet hasn’t been off the charts. It has been. It has changed the lives of billions of people and it will continue to be a utility to billions of people. Just like cars, TVs, Radio, Planes, Highways, you get the point.

Some people have tried to make the point that Web 2.0 is proof that the Internet is evolving. Actually it is the exact opposite. Web 2.0 is proof that the Internet has stopped evolving and stabilized as a platform. Its very very difficult to develop applications on a platform that is ever changing. Things stop working in that environment. Internet 1.0 wasn’t the most stable development environment. To days Internet is stable specifically because its now boring.(easy to avoid browser and script differences excluded)

Applications like Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, etc were able to explode in popularity because they worked. No one had to worry about their ISP making a change and things not working. The days of walled gardens like AOL, Prodigy and others were gone. The days of always on connections were not only upon us, but in sufficient numbers at home, work and school, that the applications ran fast enough to hold our interest and compel us to participate. In other words, the Internet stabilized. Great software was developed to run on the software.

Just as a reminder to some, Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, etc are not “the Internet”. They are software applications that run on the Internet. Just like MicroSoft Excel is a software application that runs on MicroSoft and Apple operating systems.

The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead. They are dead until bandwidth throughput to the home reaches far higher numbers than the vast majority of broadband users get today.

Few people’s actual throughput to their homes have increased more than 5mbs in the past 5 years, and few people’s throughput (if you dint understand the difference between throughput and the marketed downstream speeds your read from your ISP, you should) to their homes will increase more than 10mbs in the next 5 years. That’s not enough to define a platform that allows really smart people to come up with groundbreaking ideas.

In fact, if you index the expected growth in bandwidth consumption by applications that are heavy LAST MILE bandwidth users (as opposed to the Internet backbone where there is plenty of bandwidth but consumers cant get to it) vs the actual increase in LAST MILE bandwidth available to the home, our net effective throughput to the home could decline over the next few years. The Internet is like a highway. There is plenty of room for everyone to go as fast as the throughput will let you go, that is until the traffic forces everyone to slow down.

For some reason a lot of people don’t understand that concept.

So, let me repeat, The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead for the foreseeable future..

The Internet is boring. That is not a bad thing. In fact its easy to make the argument that its a great thing. That it has become the utility that the people who worked to get it started firmly believed it would. That it finally is the platform for any number of mundane applications that are easy to write and that anyone can use and trust.

Just like wheels, printing presses, cars, TV, radio, electricity, water…..

When we reach a point

106 thoughts on “The Internet is Dead and Boring

  1. It’s normal, now we need a hardware change, then a software change will come, and then another hardware change…

    Comment by nope -

  2. I have to agree with you, the internet is boring. I think what your trying to say is that the “content” and “websites(applications)” on the internet is boring. This phrase kind of relates to what this article says, “One at a young age experiences things like it’s a new innovation, when one matures, new innovations are just standards and norms.” I had been using the internet since 1990′s. Back then we’d only have dial-up which was the only available way to connect to the internet. I was astounded on how the internet was like, websites, downloads, vast amounts of information just waiting for me to see them… now, it only feels like books on the bookshelf… the content updates back then were so frequent, you could have got news about something every single minute or hour. The content now a days… just updates from daily to biweekly. I just think content on the internet is unchanged. The social networks are just evolving to have more cyber bullying, like the girl who hanged herself from a fake person on myspace. Apart from news and ETC, the internet is becoming more and more dull.

    Comment by John -

  3. Pingback: Subservient Chicken, Mark Cuban and one of the world’s most provocative words: “Boring” « Ad Warrior

  4. Are you not excited about WiMAX or mobile broadband? 5-10Mbps to my mobile phone or in car device is pretty exciting to me. The Internet itself may be boring but the possibiltiy of fast mobile broadband is not here yet and will provide a ton of innovation.

    Comment by Chris -

  5. The internet is no where as boring as this blog…

    Comment by Ritchie -

  6. like the 60s by the time it was over everyone was accepeting it the web is he same.The web is dead.

    Comment by mike -

  7. Well, I can agree bandwidth means a lot but I thought the cable companies were and are just providing programming over an internet connection, Sorta like phones are now available online. I think the future is a touch screen with an ultra fast (new technology) connection downloading p2p, a 2 day battery life that ties into my server for all my pc related iphone like apps. just kidding your right it’s dead…

    xee ya,
    davin

    Comment by davin -

  8. The Internet 2 is all about taken the power away from the people the real internet is far to dangerous for the idiots trying to push their socialist agenda. you will now only be able to speak through totally controlled subdomains with no privacy and total censorship. it’s a sad sad thing. the internet will now stop developing because of internet 2, not the other way around. idiots, always fucking up a good thing.

    Comment by michel -

  9. totally agree with you. cheers!

    Comment by mazout diangelo -

  10. The internet is so stupid and boring it makes watching a spider
    spin its web look like an amusement park. i can’t believe how boring
    it is, this is possibly why people are either potatoes or six feet
    under (sorry for the graphical take on how boring the internet is).
    if a senior person got on here even they would rather not be among us
    any more. cyberspace (i.e. the internet) is lifeless, not active and
    full of $#@!. the only thing worth anything on the net is youtube
    and thats only when something good comes along (like once in a blue
    moon).

    Comment by Bob -

  11. A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game, took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

    \”You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one,\” the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. \”The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon, our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with DSL, bsp; light-speed processing ….and,\” pausing to take another drink of beer….

    The Senior took advantage of the break in the student\’s litany and said, \”You\’re right, son. We didn\’t have those things when we were young….. so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little s–t, what are you doing for the next generation?\”

    The applause was resounding..

    Why does Mark Cuban so resemble this college freshman? Oh yes, the self importance factor! Like this will last on the comments section!

    Comment by Scott Trant -

  12. I make a living off of technology and rarely feel that things have \”gotten boring\”. Things do; however, simmer for awhile then boil over when some new, revolutionary innovation comes along.

    Yet new technology ALWAYS comes from out of the blue to shake things up. It wasn\’t really that long ago when most of us were putting up with the squawks and squeaks of analog modems and had no idea how much the advent of residential broadband Internet connectivity would change things.

    I think we may be on the verge of another one of these revolutionary technology breakthroughs and like most innovations, this one is based on old technology.

    As is usual with these innovations, a coalition of companies (Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP, Intel, Philips, Earthlink, and Samsung) calling itself \”The White Spaces Coalition\”, has carved out a chunk of the UHF analog TV spectrum (think rabbit ears) and piggy backed \”WiFi-like\” signals on them using existing TV transmission towers with potential speeds of 1 Gbps transmissions!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/21/AR2007092101999.html

    If this technology becomes ubiquitous, it will open up the doors for the digital convergence of all kinds of stuff. The availability of high speed Internet connections EVERYWHERE will make distributed computing a reality and we will no longer care about applications, operating systems, files, email – everything will just live on our web browsers.

    Pie in the sky? I for one think things are just starting to get interesting…

    Comment by Alan Osborne -

  13. Hi Mark,

    If I were to imagine being in your shoes and reading most of the comments to your post, I\’d be amused to see how many people have argued on the novelty and ability to hold interest factor of the Internet using the example of Facebook, MySpace and YouTube when, indeed, you\’re right – they are not the Internet, they are applications. Just shows how little people understand about what\’s going on in the world wide web – which again is not \”the internet\”.

    Anyways, I know this comes terribly late but I\’d like to bring in my thoughts here based on what Russell Davies talked about on his blog after reading your post and that of humankind by nature being \”neophilic\”.

    According to me, that the Internet would become boring one day shouldn\’t come to us as a surprise considering we use all inventions/developments in 3 stages (at times clearly defined, at times overlapping).

    The first is where we figure out what the invention is. In our context, the WWW, emails, how it works. To draw a parallel, moving images – the video camera to capture real life footage, then the French magician (I forghet his name)who used it for his illusions, usage for early films, it\’s 24 frames per second!

    The second is where once we\’ve figured out how it works, we do stuff with it. For the Internet, downloads, now uploads, applications. Going back to the moving images analogy, usage to make early films such as The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Battleship Potemkin, experimentation with sound.

    This stage is crucial because this is where a lot of \”new\” theories and \”propositions\” along with their theorists or founders get famous. E.g.: Sergey Bring and Larry Page, the youtube guys just like Eisenstien became famous for the montage, Charlie Chaplin for his comic style.

    And then comes the big one – the 3rd stage of Convergence. This is where we become completely bored of what we can do with the invention and try and look for new ways in which we can make it into a medium or come up with an offspring invention.

    The Internet is heading there, hasn\’t reached it yet although attempts have already been made to converge it with mobile technology, cable tv, etc. In other words, the one device theory. For moving images, TV was it – all in one: sound, picture, news and you didn\’t even need to go anywhere. Now we have TV on internet or the other way round.

    And of course, there\’s a 4th stage where the invention goes into complete oblivion (radio to a great extent) because of complete negligence, haphazard experimentation or our fascination for something brand new that we hadn\’t seen before or it survives forever with perpetual bastardization (moving image)

    But the point I\’m really trying to make is the \”naturalness\” of this. It\’s ingrained within us. What\’s important with regards to the development of the Internet, however, is the era in which it is exposed to stage 2 which is… now. Because of our post-modernist tendencies, I get the feeling the Internet will survive like moving image but it\’s identity is going to become something like what would emerge from the cross-pollenation of a bee with a caterpillar – a stinging butterfly.

    What exactly does this mean? I have no idea… as of now. It just occurred to me as a random analogy. Will I know what it means in the near future – I hope so. In the meantime, if you do figure out what the Internet is going to become based on this, please do continue to enlighten the vast majority of us lesser mortals :)

    Cheerio
    Yousuf

    Comment by Yousuf Rangoonwala -

  14. Interestingly enough your viewpoint on this subject matter is quite the controversial topic. In some sense I could say that I agree and in some cases I would disagree. However, to many business students and professionals web 2.0 and new media is the window to new opportunity and a new era of conducting business. The Internet development is only beginning and as the obvious has shown the trend is upwards. But in this world nothing is ever certain and opinions will vary.

    On a different note, I am a student from Ryerson University located in Toronto, Ontario. I am also the Chairman of the Ryerson Business Forum. Each year we throw a grand event that includes a Speakers Series on a specific current issue. Last year, our event theme was on Unwritten Rules: Corporate Governance & Accountability. Our main guest speaker was Lynn Brewer, the former Enron Executive who is known for cracking Enrons scandal.

    This year we are focusing on New Media and Business in the 21st Century. We would be honored to arrange something for you to attend our event as one of our guest speakers or debate panelist. You can contact our group at rbf2008@gmail.com. Thank you for your time and viewpoints in this blog. They were all quite intriguing to say the least.

    George
    RBF Chairman
    http://www.rbf.ryerson.ca

    Comment by George -

  15. I agree totally. And what is more, many sites which used to be vibrant and updated daily seem to have become stagnant and stale. Owners of non corporate websites seem by and large to be no longer intersted in keeping their pages up to date and fresh…the whole of the internet seems to have become yesterday\’s pastime and is now just a corporate information booth.

    Comment by Rob -

  16. You\’re obviously not look at enough good quality or varied porn, if you\’re saying the Internet is boring.

    Is it (the internet, not porn) becoming a utility? Quite possibly and that\’s an inevitability but I don\’t think it\’s necessarily a bad thing. Personally speaking, I\’d rather the Internet blends into the background and becomes a tool or utility, as opposed to something that is a hobby or a focal point.

    I\’m a web developer for a living and I spend too much damn time using the Internet as it is. I\’d rather it just becomes a tool for me to find out what films are on, what events are on, to get the latest news or to listen to music or watch a film as opposed to surfing mindless and essentially time-wasting sites such as twitter. I long for the internet killer app to be developed that makes it quick and easy to find out this information without having to search one of a million different sites to get my information.

    I seem to spend more time seeking information than reading or using the information once it\’s been found. I can\’t wait for the day when it\’s there, in the background, instantly available, and relevant to where I happen to be at a particular time or date.

    Comment by Alastair Moore -

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    Comment by Admin -

  18. \”A lot of people are all up and upset about my comments that the Internet is dead and boring.\”

    I started saying the same thing to friends about the Internet a few months. I\’ve been on it since 1995 when it was exciting and new. Now it\’s just a snore for the most part. Name the last really interesting new Net concept? I can\’t because it\’s been years since anyone came up with anything really new and interesting.

    I still use the Net and do business on it but it\’s become as exciting as using the toaster.

    Comment by Billionaire Strategies -

  19. Hey Mark,

    I really liked that post! In fact, I liked it so much I wrote a song about it – see http://blog2song.blogspot.com/2007/09/internet-is-dead-and-boring.html

    Dror.

    Comment by Dror -

  20. I agree 100% with this idea. I was just talking about it the other day – that there was nothing new to learn with the web for me anymore. It has been mastered by everyone.

    I wrote about it on my blog and then somebody sent me this one.

    Comment by patricia -

  21. Mark,

    You are absolutely correct in your comments! I am actually always amazed at all of the \”hype\” of these new applications such as facebook, etc. What is the \”big\” deal? You can connect with people sending emails or on the phone. Myspace seems to be nothing more than an opportunity to put up images of themselves.

    And you are correct…there is nothing new under the sun here. Thanks for speaking the truth!

    Comment by gfaith63 -

  22. It\’s only a medium; sure 90% of the internet is crud, but that\’s Sturgeons Law in action. 90% of everything is crud.

    But I think that people will become more aware of bandwidth as time goes on. I get almost 12m on a 24 meg line, which keeps me pretty happy.

    But maybe it\’s the simpler things that pople actually need. Facebook has been far more usefule to me than any other internet app (well aside from thepiratebay.org ;) because of it\’s simplicity and ease of use.

    Evolution does not always equal more complexity. So maybe the internet will continue to get simpler and simpler

    Comment by Mike Mystery -

  23. Amazing. Your absolutely right. I use the internet right now because I can\’t sit still … however that being said, I\’m a highly-educated-technically-savvy individual who finds myself using each new site and/or network for only the time it takes to learn it. After that, I typically find that it\’s not going to benefit me as much as I might have anticipated and I find myself leaving it as fast as I signed up and then feeling like I\’ve wasted my time.

    While I\’m still excited for what the future holds, I\’m beginning to feel that I\’m ahead of it\’s time. — What I mean is that in the next 10 years the internet won\’t change much, but the way we use it will.

    Comment by Tanya Ryno -

  24. Mark,

    You have a point in regards to the value of entertainment provided by the internet, it has slowed its revolutionary pace. However, over recent years, enterprises like Youtube have provided a new twist. Blogs, or the dissemination of ideas also provide a new way to entertain. Without the internet, I would not have had the chance to \”hear\” the mind of one of the countries revolutionary entrepreneurs and owner of a major sport franchise. This is also entertainment.

    Additionally, the continued changes to society and commerce in general, for example the creation of an open market for distributed fabrication, like http://www.mfg.com, provide a level of entertainment all in itself. We are watching paradigms continuosly shift before our eyes. The speed of change varies but is non-stop and in my humble opinion are very entertaining.

    Comment by Jason Krac -

  25. The internet is waiting for new and innovative and exciting ways to be used. A huge application currently unexplored is due diligence on a prospective business partner. The ability to access public records is a huge plus, for instance in the case of former sales executive from BYOBrodcast and President of the College Professional Basketball league.who then became a house developer in the Boston area. By perusing public information one can see what he has completed and to what satisfaction. Does he pay his workmen? Does he live up to his word? How honorable is he? This is what the internet is becoming. Information available about just about everybody. Here\’s a guy you knew and almost invested with:

    http://www.paulmcmann.com.

    What do you think of him know?

    Comment by truthteller -

  26. I agree – in order to significantly change the utility of the internet both bandwidth and latency need to get both higher and shorter.

    One application I really thought would be in place by now (with extensive propogation) is video on demand – that is going to have radical change.

    I think the problem to all this is the bandwidth suppliers are having to invest in network technology to supply all of this which becomes legacy in almost a year.

    Comment by azjulian -

  27. Fantastic insight Mark, a long way from the days you had hissy fits about the web and rights with Hilary Rosen at All things Digital…an about face of sorts, but i guess that was at a time when the web was relevant, financially anyway, to you. I think to call a \”platform\” dead and boring and not really account for the minds that are shaping it is a tad insulting. Are oils and canvas dead Mark? How about the cell phone, the piano…any other instrument you manipulate? Look, if you have given up and moved along…cool for you, i mean Hey HDNet\’s real sweet looking braodcast of a Live Knack concert is truly breathtaking and not boring in the least, or hiring a young relevant reporter like Dan Rather…so move on to whatever catches the billionaires fancy next. I for one think that the stablisation of the platform is that point in which the cowboys, like you, move on and the real breakthrough work gets done. If you think this is, in any way boring…then i truly underestimated your buffoonary. Oh…and I love the irony of the Maverick using the boring old web to communicate earth shattering ideas…it\’s kinda fun.

    Comment by Mike Kasprow -

  28. The following sentiment was rumoured to have been expressed in 1899: We should close the Patent Office, because everything that could have been invented, has been invented. Mark\’s comments strike a similar chord. In my project Understanding New Media: Extending Marshall McLuhan (see http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~logan) in which I discuss the innovations of Mark Cuban and others I find it difficult to finish the book because there is always something new happening that I want to include in my book. The Web is an emergent phenomenon like life itself and it will continue to self-organize and evolve through the agency of its users.

    Comment by Bob Logan -

  29. The Internet is still evolving and increasingly rapidly, so much so that it feels static. Just like the wind.

    Comment by Angus -

  30. Mark,

    One small bit of commentary in a rather lengthy list of comments. You did make note to cite the difference between an application, such as myspace, and the Web itself.

    One differentiation you did not make was between the Web and the Internet. For example, services such as IRC live on the Internet but are not part of the World Wide Web.

    What I\’m suggesting is that a bold new technology could be built on top of the Internet – something new and different, and something that has nothing to do with the Web.

    Comment by Zaskoda -

  31. That\’s like saying everything that can be invented already has…

    Sure, the Internet has infrastructure issues, but so does the human brain. Does that mean our brains can\’t be enhanced or rewired if we required different cognitive abilities?

    The question is less about what can\’t do, but rather what we want to do that creates value like never before.

    For example:

    -What should the Internet be if wanted to virtually experience a specific point in time?

    -Or to know the real time value of something based on the rated \”vibe\” of the entire network?

    -How would we pass a favorite moment in 3 Dimensions to someone because that\’s the only way to establish context?

    To think anything else is unimaginative to say the least.

    Comment by Ray Podder -

  32. Mark,

    Wow! You know how to get people passionate!

    After reading your post, my biggest dilemma with your statement is not whether your right or wrong, but if your headline was really useful for your point.

    While you make some great points and get people thinking, it seems that your headline is where most people are probably getting hung up. It definitely sets a tone for the reader. What if you had written the same headline but in the form of a question?

    The other question I keep asking myself is if you wrote the headline and then made the supporting material or if you came to the headline statement after writing the supporting material.

    Anyways, nice read, thought provoking, informative, bad headline (IMO).

    Comment by Casey R. -

  33. MC: check my #30 post and todays AP:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070829/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_rebuilding_the_internet

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  34. I agree with you Mark. I think we will see no major changes to the internet for a while. New sites and new net-based applications will get our attention, but I do not see the big convergence that everyone speaks of coming anytime soon. I would not say the internet is dead per se, but I would say that it has matured. And it certainly is mostly boring; a utility as you say. Unless porn is your thing! As far as video on the web goes, I don\’t see how it can compete long-term with HD television, DVRs, HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Sure it will steal some audience, but HD is just getting started.

    Comment by Louis James -

  35. You are right. It is boring. The content is waning. It does not seem new and fresh anymore. I think the problem is web 2.0 me too
    technology. Everyone is replicating the same thing over and over.
    Microsoft\’s approach of software and services seems the most promising, but it too will require greater throughput and the elimination of latency. I get really bored these days and nothing
    just screams \”what a cool thing\” anymore. With apps like firefox getting more bloated and \”social\”, google getting more distracted with its vision…yawn!

    Comment by jccodez -

  36. Boring Article. Far to long. The initial idea is fascinating, but after two paragraphs I couldn\’t read ist anymore.

    Q.E.D.

    Comment by ben_ -

  37. Mark,
    Dead on. And dead wrong. Yes, the Internet is a platform, and is stabilizing. But \”boring\” is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. I don\’t facebook and don\’t care to. But I use the Internet numerous times a day to find information that otherwise would be impossible for me. Information that I don\’t necessarily \”need\” but am interested in – and that excites me (both the information and the ability to acquire). I have cried just today listening to some music I have downloaded. And I have books on my night stand that rock my world – books I only know of because I\’ve followed a trail of happenstance links on the Web. The use of the Web for me is far from boring. Now, is the Internet *itself* boring? Again, a perspective made in the mind of the observer. Is the excitement there of hand-building one\’s first HTTP 0.9 request? No. Or of hand-tuning BIND data to make a resolver work. No. As you point out, the system has become stable enough on top of which amazing applications are being built that rely on rock-solid CSS, blazingly fast HTML rendering (yeah WebKit!), and 5Meg downlaod speeds. But let\’s look at automobiles — they became \”stable\” when? 1950s maybe. How many people would trade their even-mediocre-by-today\’s-standards car in for an un-air-conditioned, column-shift, oil-smoking 1955 vehicle? Not many. The steady but unstopped innovation happens little-by-little. Is that boring? Maybe to you. But the devil is in the details, and rooting the devil from the details of technology is a better place to go looking for the slippery, well, devil, than it is by allowing fundamentalists to presume it lurks in the mind of others. Politics — they\’re never boring. They\’re utterly trite though. And so perhaps your claim better rests aimed upon the claim that the Internet has become trite. Sure, it\’s used by millions. So, if your don\’t want to be bored, you gotta find the next revolution. There\’s a heckuva witch\’s brew boiling in the cauldron\’s of the molecular biology. That\’s if we get to live to see the outcome, for global warming, biospheric degradation, and resource depletion are upon us, and they\’ll arrive come hell (ah, there\’s that slipper devil) or high water (Greenland, your ice sheets were once so lovely). Bored? In times like these? Only because the Internet is also the greatest heights to which the Bread and Circuses of the post-modern welfare state has risen — YouTube distracts with fascinating power — have you seen the Hippo that sleeps on the porch? Change the channel, Mark — it\’s the choices one makes in what one views and does that make all the difference between boredom and action. Entertainment is Death.

    Comment by Zhami -

  38. I love this post. And yes, the Internet is boring — like plumbing, bread, rice and any number of the things we rely on big time and take for granted.

    It has quietly revolutionized my life by making it possible for me to do all kinds of research. Which in itself could be considered boring, but is my bread-and-butter.

    I expect a few visionaries (like you?) will find new ways to make it exciting again.

    Comment by Writes -

  39. There is a long way to go. To say that the internet is dead will be one of the comments you\’ll never live down. Keep up the good work though, I still love your blog.

    Comment by embed -

  40. I agree Mark, newspapers and magazines…evrything old is new again!

    Comment by Charles \"Laker Fan\" Gerencser -

  41. Pipe is only a part of cause of quality of the water ;-)) \”Interconnected Networks\” is only a packaging. Content is made by people and people is boring (if people is not boring, the concept of \”boring or not\” doesn\’t exist ;-))

    Comment by Pierre -

  42. I think you\’re partly right. Right about everything but the next explosion being dependant on faster speeds. Crowd-based ideas (social bookmarking etc) are just starting out – we have no idea what to expect when millions of people are able to collaborate and interact in new ways. That\’s the immediate future and it\’s ridiculously exciting.

    Comment by Dave -

  43. Your Private Identity Provider would then provision your real, pseudonymous, or anonymous identity to any Internet site you visit that requires some level of identity or security information.

    Comment by capacitor distributor -

  44. big,old line companies will only improve their products slightly over time.
    as long as the basic product is good(utility)and serves the purpose for which it was invented, the company will attempt to make money with as little innovation as possible.
    It is only when a competitor enters the picture, or sales begin to stall, that the companies will dig into their \”laboratories\” to add a few bells and whistles to the product therefore, ramping up sales with their \”new\” innovations.

    Comment by tom vanyo -

  45. Your internet is dead.
    Mark\’s internet is dead.
    xxxx\’s internet is dead.
    But our internet is not dead and never dead.

    Comment by awflasher -

  46. I agree that its reached utility phase. Maybe our expectations for it were too high. Like anything new, it starts as an end in and of itself, but now, like a tool, its just a means to an end.

    Seriously, was the promise of the internet REALLY supposed to be a :40 sec clip of two drunk guys racing lawnmowers? Or in the bigger picture, the ability to let everyone have a voice?

    In the case of the former, mission accomplished. And in the latter? Lot of third-world countries without internet access would say no.

    Comment by bg -

  47. Mark-

    This site is what you should invest in next: Make it the ANTI- YOU TUBE. I love it, and wanted to share it with you.

    Cheers-

    http://www.iklipz.com

    Comment by Tom Erickson -

  48. Very well, the internet is boring and dead. I do not believe that this choice of words was the best to describe your entire concept. A very well stabilized one, but which still has some little gaps. We\’ll see what the future holds.

    Comment by Alex Nick -

  49. The next important big move will be the implementation of applications that will eliminate anonymity on the Internet, while making real privacy possible. I\’m talking about vendor-neutral birth registration and death certification systems, hooked into the definitive governmental registries around the world.

    It\’s foolish that nobody knows who anybody is on the Internet. All the problems, from identity theft on down, arise from that fact. The problem can be solved – it is technically trivial. But the political problems may take 50 years to overcome.

    Comment by Larry Blumen -

  50. Mark, I don\’t agree with everything you have said, a slowdown is far from an extinction. And remember that what the internet also allows people to do is innovate in the offline world- the one where there are living, breathing, people.
    Also, although social platforms have risen in popularity, they are still far from reaching the masses, there are those folks who just over the past year or so, started \”googling\”, believe it or not. That is and of itself, small though it may seem, is a breakthrough.

    Rebecca D. Levinson- Connect2Agent.com

    Comment by Rebeccaq Levinson -

  51. Hi Mark,

    Hindsight is mostly 20-20. Hope you\’re working on the next big thing to better the Internet.

    Rahul

    Comment by Rahul -

  52. Good blog post! I\’m glad the internet has reached boringness, or as we might put it, maturity. The dot-com frenzy really took us far away from the reality of it, which is that it should join other functional devices in our life. ATMs. Telephones. Cars. It\’s healthy to have it at this hypeless state, because now we can focus on making it function better instead of getting lost in web2.0 hype.

    Comment by Chris Borokowski -

  53. Mark,

    The Internet may not have much more to offer in it\’s capacity as the global Wide Area Network (WAN) standard. But within the WAN itself there is a hell of a lot happening. Let\’s take the Web realm for example. The emergence of the Semantic Data Web (see: http://dbpedia.org) as the database aspect of the Web is akin to the introduction of Databases to desktop computing era. The ability to traverse a Web of Data Links as opposed to Document Links (what most do today) is a really really big deal!

    Links:

    1. http://dbpedia.org
    2. http://linkeddata.org
    3. Various live demos from my public blog (as per site URL above).

    Comment by Kingsley Idehen -

  54. The greatest advanced in the Internet happen when the end user gets more bandwidth. Look at how the web grew once dial up modems got faster. Look what happened when AOL and other dial up comps hit it big. Look what happened when DSL got popular. Look what happened when cable got faster.

    Mr. Cuban. You speak about \”the Internet\” from an American POV. What is your take in \”the Internet\” users in other countries?

    Do you think the Internet is boring to East Africans who are just getting access to the Internet?

    Do you think the Internet is boring to Japan users with 30000Mbps connections?

    Comment by Eric Atkins -

  55. So I\’ve been on holidays for a few days and was just catching up on my reading (live.com is my rss reader -works great)

    I came across a post on Mark Cuban\’s blog from last week
    http://www.blogmaverick.com/2007/08/24/the-internet-is-dead-and-boring/

    Dude…what are you doing? Are you crazy we haven\’t even scratched the surface of what a permanent omnipresent network can do for our lives.

    Yeh sure it\’s easy to point to the web and say \’whats new\’ (and I totally agree about your comments on web 2.0 – it\’s just a change of fonts and some java & ror programming tricks) but saying that this is it \’as far as you personally can see\’ is like saying once Rome settled on a standardised road format that all roads here and ever after will be more or less the same (and yes I think even the Italians will agree that some other countries evolved on the original concept and produced something even better).

    I know for a fact that once the internet evolves from a person to machine transaction platform to a machine to machine fabric we will be able to implement far more radical applications into our lives.

    It may not seem like a big difference but think of it like going from Atomic Fusion to Atomic Fission. Pretty much the same thing but with radically different outcomes and even bigger ramifications to the wider world (global warming, world peace, less reliance on middle east oil etc).

    We here at http://www.cognation.net/ are working on some amazing web application concepts that hopefully will change your mind about what the internet \’will finally evolve into\’.

    Mark I know you have to make \’wide sweeping statements\’ to get peoples attention but you need to choose your targets more widely.

    Cheers,
    Dean

    Comment by Dean Collins -

  56. The Internet as a Platform Will Continuously Evolve

    Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA franchise, and Chairman of HDNet, the richest blogger in the world claims The Internet is Dean and Boring days ago in his blog. Why? Here is his reason: Every new technological, mechanical or intellectual breakthrough has its day, days, months and years. But they dont rule forever. Thats the reality Just like wheels, printing presses, cars, TV, radio, electricity, waterIts very difficult to develop applications on a platform that is ever changing

    Well, Mark Cuban draws a wrong conclusion though his observations are right. Why?

    1. The slow adoption of high-speed broadband during past 5 years in the US is not a problem of the Internet, or the proof of the Internet innovation stalls, it is a matter of domestic policy issues

    2. From Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, the Internet has demonstrated its continuous evolution as a great platform in endorsing lot of application-level innovations, such as Wiki, Blog, Social Networking, Podcast, just to name a few

    3. The continuously evolving of the Internet is good instead of bad, actually the innovation of the Internet itself is not fast enough, and that is why we call for Internet 2.0 to serve upcoming Web 3.0 better

    Frontier Blog – search but not REsearch
    http://www.hwswworld.com/wp

    Comment by edward -

  57. Hi Mark,
    I like your thoughts about the internet.
    As for myself, I do not mind if the internet is getting boring.

    It means it will not be overwhelming, it will be predictable.
    A utility in your words. There is nothing wrong with utilities.
    Leo

    Comment by Leo -

  58. I completely agree mark.

    I am not exactely sure of what people\’s expectation of the internet are these days. The internet is what is, an information super highway, nothing more nothing less.

    Sure the few novelty web sites, facebook, myspace, or google will always have a venue on the internet. However, there is no real true ingenuity happening on the net. Napster was the last real invention and that was over years ago.

    I cannot think of anything I want to do on the net that is not at my disposal today, I guess I have low expectations of what the net can offer.

    Comment by Scott R -

  59. I think we need advancement in actual physical technology. Virtual reality has yet to happen. Imagine the possiblities with that. I would like to know if the idea is basically dead or are there people working on this and actually putting big money into it.

    Comment by Brett -

  60. The Internet has become boring to those of us who are saturated in the Web 2.O variations. Real innovation won\’t happen, as you say, until the bandwidth increases substantially across the board. Truly innovative applications can\’t be managed on a 5 or 6 MB connection. My cable ISP is touting that as a huge benefit. Look! we\’ve increased your bandwidth from 4 to 6 MBs. That is unless some other folks in your neighborhood are doing something besides reading email. It\’s pathetic.

    The problem is that we have handed access over to a few major players that have only profit in mind and that means strangling bandwidth while raising prices. Profit is a good thing. But there are ways of making it that promote growth in other sectors. The model we have now does not do that.

    Comment by Bob -

  61. mark, i just don\’t know why your comments made such a \”noise\” neither why you put so much of your time on them… it\’s happening to the internet like it happened to the tv, the movies, the radio, the newspapers, the books, the photography and each and every mass media. everyt new media is exciting at the beginning until it finds its own field where it can not be replaced at all.

    Comment by hector cano -

  62. No matter what speed the bandwith/thruput becomes, it is still \’content\’ that is king and what truly counts. Our minds can only handle so much vipid, immature facebook junk and I\’d wait a long time to get especially good content…even if it\’s is just a good ol\’ book. No Mark, the Internet isn\’t boring or dead, just some of the people on it are.

    Comment by Richard Royce -

  63. I work at an internet measurement company that gives me a magnified view of internet interaction on a daily basis. I have some things to say about this:

    http://ebjones.typepad.com

    Comment by Eric Jones -

  64. How does the US look when:
    + residential broadband goes from 50% to 75%
    + phone broadband from 1% to 50%
    + consumer electronics and cars come online
    + pioneer states give 100% broadband access
    + areas like healthcare, education govt catch up
    + download speeds get 5x better and upload 10x

    We might have hit the first plateau. But the higher part of the mountain is still ahead. Usually easier/quicker to get to the first plateau, so maybe the next phase doesn\’t have the acceleration of the first one, but are we really anywhere close to what the Internet will ultimately enable?

    Comment by gzino -

  65. What a boring post. Of course its a utility. And of course most of what happens on the internet is \’an application just like Excel\’. But claiming it (the internet) is dead is ridiculous. The innnovation that has been spawned by companies exploring \’internet OS\’ types of development is amazing. It renders the notion that Bill and MS are the only game in town, equally ridiculous.

    There is so much going on worldwide in terms of development for applications on the internet that perhaps Mark is just overwhelmed. Or maybe he just revels in making ridiculous and boring statements to attract attention.

    Comment by Allen Anderson -

  66. Mark,

    You are way off on this one. As the TechCrunch poll would indicate with a majority of readers thinking you are kidding. Techcrunch is an advanced base of internet users too.

    Furthermore if you ask the average internet user if the internet is dead and boring they will disagree with you vehemently. Why because they are able to communicate, create and consume more then ever before and the applications that are getting built to communicate, create and consume are becoming more and more advanced and reaching critical mass faster then every before. As a business owner the internet continues to change how we market, sell, process and develop our business model.

    How about the evolution on SaaS business model. Only a few years ago software was rolled out in versions, remember? Now software is being dynamically updated with new features being rolled out every week, month, etc…

    The next web trends that will affect the internet include how we use applications in online / offline environments, how we collect data offline and how we continue to consume and create content. Since the web is very close to being a mobile platform as well with web enabled handsets getting closer to critical mass this will continue to evolve and change how we embrace and use the internet in our daily lives.

    Comment by Andrew -

  67. Stopped Evolving???

    Mark, four years ago when I started reading your blog, I had to check your website once a week to see if you had updated it. Today, I open up my RSS reader, and all the information I choose to receive is sitting there waiting for me. That alone is a pretty big change in my Internet experience, but for a guy who made his money selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo Id have thought youd put a little more brain power into your blogging.

    The Internet is not dead, and by no means is it boring. The Internet as a platform is replacing the need for traditional mediums such as TV, Radio, Newspapers, and even Billboards. For a platform that has only been commercially available for 13 years, Id say that is astounding accomplishment. The Internet allows for the constant evolution of engagement and interactivity.

    When is the last time you actually engaged with your TV? Research companies would love for you to believe that the average American spends roughly 26 hours per week in front of the tube. Get real! The TV is a passive medium. Like the radio of old, it is more than less background noise while you eat dinner, talk on the phone, play with your kids, etc.

    The internet is changing the way we live. Artificial intelligence, in the realm of personal preferences allows us to see what we want, when we want it, and most importantly HOW we want it. The Internet is beginning to understand and remember what we do. Some may think this is Big Brother-esque, but ultimately it is simplifying our lives.

    As cities start becoming blanketed with free or public wi-fi, our always on culture will become more and more dependent upon the Internet and its ever expanding advancements.

    Mark, you recently posted an entry about how you had forgotten how to write. Could it be that you have forgotten how to use the Internet?

    Would enjoy hearing your response: http://monopolizedchaos.evereffect.com

    Comment by Jim Brown -

  68. Your comment is very US centric (most of the sites you mention are primarily used in the US). It also betrays a serious lack of imagination. As other commenters have pointed out, the internet is only 10 years old (if that) as a widely available communications medium and unlike its predecessors, it\’s not just a medium but an applications platform, with unbounded possibilities. And its penetration in significant parts of the world is small (e.g. China) or miniscule (e.g. India). What happens as the hundreds of millions of Indians who\’ve just started using cell phones start getting online? I don\’t know but the notion that the internet\’s future possibilities are boring just as another billion people are poised to come online over the next decade seems a tad myopic.

    Comment by ramster -

  69. Exactly!!!

    Internet is boring now. i have been using it for more than 5 years and nowhere i get the feel as it was in the first year for me.

    lots of online applications come around and goes just to pass time. nothing impresses and lots of confusion one over the other and takes time to spend time on it.

    now a days i hate to use internet or being online in gtalk or yahoo. everything became easy like talking to people overseas, browsing movies, pictures etc….

    but still i am not happy being online.. and i dont know why…

    Comment by beyondwork -

  70. Define platform. Arguably, both the Wright Bros. plane and the Boing are on teh same platform, namely, the air foil, which provides lift. Attaching a jet engine did not displace that platform; it made it more useful. The problem addressed was getting physical objects, goods, people, from point A to point B. Previous platforms for solving that problem were: bipedalism, horses, bicycles, automobiles/trains. A new platform would be an anti-geavity machine of some sort or the transporter (like in Star Trek)(assuming that\’s even possible). So, increasing the throughput to x times current rates would not be a new platform for getting \”services\” from Point A (Mr. Cuban\’s studio, e.g.) to Point B (my home, e.g.).
    Rather, increased throughput would enhance the platform, make it more useful. The more useful a platform is, the more collateral innovations are possible. Jumping on or putting things on a jet plane made more new things possible by getting things together. Gettting me together with new applications or services is what greater throughput will do.

    Comment by R Barrera -

  71. The car was interesting. But it was the big changes it caused — like say, the development of interstate highways, suburbs, and the mobility of the western\’s world\’s population that were really interesting, and continue to be interesting.

    Even if the Web platform isn\’t evolving (and I think there\’s life in the old girl yet), the fun part is how our assimilation and use of these new applications will change the world. That\’s pretty far from dead — that\’s alive and thrashing.

    Comment by Josh Bernoff -

  72. Mark is wrong… I have been an avid Internet user since the mid 1990\’s and in today\’s Web 2.0 environment I can finally start to do the things that I envisioned doing years ago…

    First the infrastructure is still growing and expanding. The percentage of people on broadband is way higher than in the past and let\’s not forget the mobile capabilities that exists. What this correlates to is a much broader audience and the capability to personally touch people through the web is higher let alone the significant impact of mobile marketing and other B2B and B2C opportunities.

    The technology has improved dramatically so along with the web infrastructural improvement we have a number of new ways to make things work and work better.

    Lastly, so far as my Internet Experience not being that different than it was 5 years ago. Mark is dead wrong. I have a wired family and we perform so many functions today that simply did not exist 5-years ago that this article can\’t be taken seriously.

    Perhaps Mark Cuban has become bored of the Internet but the Internet in and of itself has not become boring…

    Dan

    Comment by Dan Buell -

  73. \”The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead. They are dead until bandwidth throughput to the home reaches far higher numbers than the vast majority of broadband users get today.\”

    \”Dead\” is not the right word then. \”Dead\” is a permanent state.

    Comment by Thomas Claburn -

  74. You must be happy..; having your little days of fame by spreading your grandiloquent opinion…
    We dont care about the question if Internet is dead or not… because this is not even a subject…Its only a good way to speak about you and have trafic and having the impression to be one of the web guru..
    In conclusion, one thing is certain, the egocentric human nature is not dead… and will never.

    Comment by Alain Ternet -

  75. When defining your title\’s meaning, ie. \”The Internet is Dead and Boring\”, as an established, stable, reliable, standardized Internet infrastructure, for the most part, you are stating the obvious.

    But, your key thesis of your post is stated as \”The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead. They are dead until bandwidth throughput to the home reaches far higher numbers than the vast majority of broadband users get today.\” That is wrong. This is because Internet bandwidth and throughput will not be driver for the next revolution of \”explosively exciting ideas\”.

    But just to get out of the way the issue of increasing bandwidth, yes I agree that we will not see large numbers to the average American user, such as 1Gbps through a single interface (or even muliple interfaces). Even aggregating Internet access via the near term 700Mhz Internet, as well as WiFi, phone line, cable, satellite will probably not attain 1Gbps to the user. But inevitably, every user will utilize more than one interface type to the Internet. This aggregate will definitely attain 25Mbps to the user. And that isn\’t too bad.

    Frankly, there is no big driver for 1Gbps to the user. There is no big demand for it. And goverment cannot monitor, sniff the data, at that rate. Granted, delivering large sized audio/visual content, like HD, or else delivering ONLINE APPS provides a means for \”explosively exciting ideas\”, and would benefit greatly from 1Gbps to the user. There may be a few more examples. But, it is obviously just too expensive to provide that infrastructure with 1Gbps to the user. It won\’t happen for a long time. So, these application will only be seen on the Internet in a scaled-down fashion.

    So, what will be the next big thing on the Internet. What will cause the \”explosion of exciting ideas\”. It will be in the area of SMART DEVICES (coupled with GPS) and TARGETTED ADVERTISING. Currently, most American have only a single node to the Internet. As more Internet devices are available at the home, we\’ll see a proliferation of multinodal homes, ie. Internet networks in the home (note that rising number of multinodal homes as well as the new 700Mhz infrastructure does, in fact, radically impact many aspects of the Internet).

    Targetted ads will be on cell phones, tablets, TVs, desktops, radio, signs/billboards, electronically on clothing. Targetted ads may be downloaded in non-realtime, then stored away until ready for presentation with content. The Internet is communication. It\’s just in it\’s infancy. At this time, non-realtime, near-realtime, and realtime delivery will be it\’s mechanism.

    How has the Internet impacted society. One biggie, OUTSOURCING!!! Of course, there are other ways to describe the impact. But, just to state the obvious. more and more and more domestic social changes as well as third world country opportunities have been caused by the Internet. What more \”explosively exciting new ideas\” can result from that!!!

    Comment by www.freeway2000.com -

  76. I completely agree with you! Everyday I see some new websites labeled \”web 2.0\” established. But they do not have anything that really creative, some just a whole clone of another so-called \”successful website\”. It\’s really boring. Why not come up with something really new?

    Comment by ehaagwlke -

  77. Internet is dead and boring. It can be true when we judge from technology. I may agree with you here Mr. Cuban, however your post is the example of overgeneralisation and mixing technological achievements with social behavior. Technology is defined by its users and it\’s them who decide whether something is dead or not. I can observe the growing gap between application designers, technology gurus that judge medium from their perspective without understanding the users of programs they develop. Internet is social medium and Internet is people. So can we draw a conclusion that all people are dead and boring?? Besides it seems to me like stating that any medium is dead is the sure way to make the way to headlines. There is still for us a lot of homework to do: history and evolution. Better understanding of mechanisms behind society and media usage could save us from doom day prophecies.

    Comment by Daria Radota Rasmussen -

  78. What does excite you right now? Television 8.0? Radio 11.0? Teleportation 1.0?

    Comment by Wing Yu -

  79. Note to Mark: The WWW != The Internet. MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, et al. are not Internet applications they are web applications.

    If you are pointing at The Internet to say that it is boring, okay. If you are pointing to the Web to say that it is dead, I have one word for you to consider – mobility.

    This continues to be the challenge for the web and its services. There are wonderfully exciting innovations and developments occurring around mobilizing the web. Want to find something new and invigorating? Look to the global mobile industry. Mobility is certainly alive and on the upward development curve.

    Comment by mobilejones -

  80. Japanese researching \’new Internet\’ for 2020.

    Reference URL

    http://www.electronista.com/articles/07/08/20/new.internet.in.2020/

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/123015/japan-building-new-internet.html

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20070819a2.html

    Interesting!

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  81. I have little patience or respect for people who starkly abuse simple and straightforward words, seemingly for the purpose of link-bait. I\’d say cluelessness was another option, but Mark, you\’re a fellow Hoosier and I know you\’re smarter than one might think from such posts ;)

    Anyway, we need more thoughtful and conversations, not more incendiary or needlessly controversial ones.

    Internet, boring? Only for those with no passion or imagination. Dead? I can\’t even begin to discern how someone could responsibly use that word in the context of the Internet.

    Mainstream? Sure. Evolving more slowly? Maybe. Progressing unevenly? Yep. But such descriptions wouldn\’t have made for such an exciting headline, eh?

    Quit being a blogchump, will ya?

    Comment by Adam -

  82. What you\’re describing is a shift from geometric to linear growth – \”top of the S curve\” stuff.

    Not dead, but boring mayhap.

    Thing is, if you look at previous technologies they move in waves of successive S curves (think of PC chips etc)

    AOL, Prodicy (walled garden ISP) etc came at the end of the dialup wave.

    In that way, one can see Blogging as the broadband net\’s bulletin board / Altnet, MySpace et al are the AOL equivalent.

    Endgame here is the move to open SocNets…we await the SocNet Mosaic

    In that case, after that occurs we are on start of next S curve.

    Comment by alan p -

  83. Mark, you\’re shooting too low. The post strikes me as being in the same vein as the U.S. Commissioner of Patents Charles H. Duell\’s fabled 1899 comment that we should close the patent office, because everything that is going to be invented has already been invented.

    On the contrary, Mark – I think that we\’ve still only scratched the surface of what \”the Internet\” (really I mean pervasive, networked computing in general) is going to make possible. Even if the bandwidth available to consumers doesn\’t increase at all we\’re going to see a combination of social and technological innovation that continues to evolve – albeit in different ways than the cheesy, frivolous, gimmicky and I agree boring ways than we\’re seeing now. I would refer you to Chris Abad\’s excellent illustration:

    http://the-mathclub.net/site/toorconbeta/slides/4.html

    showing the current state of affairs with Web 2.0. This is because real technology and social revolutions – especially of this scale: the Googles and Wikipedias of the world – take time to emerge.

    Comment by Jason Thane -

  84. do a little bit of research into the idea of a semantic web – the implications will blow your mind. Basically, it\’s all data ever in a common format accessible by anyone at any point. We have reams and reams of data available to us, but none of it is really available in an open, easily accesible fashion. Imagine if all of the data that Nasa ever collected was available, combined with weather information from the last 60 years, combined with ice core samples and tree frog populations and the migration patterns of birds and volcanic eruptions and every other form and type of data we\’ve ever collected as a species. Imagine if any researcher anywhere in the world had access to this data at any time. We can start to make connections and see the data and how it interacts in whole new ways. Really understand our environment from a well infomed point of view and make conclusions and gather new data in new ways. I think it\’s going to be a revolution.

    Comment by zach wilson -

  85. Only in the US has the last mile bandwidth stagnated. Compare South Korea\’s or Japan\’s or even Chinese cities last mile bandwidth over the last 5 years and you\’ll find a different picture.

    Also I wouldn\’t say the internet is dead, but it is no longer leaping forward in revolutionary steps, it is now an evolutionary growth. Same in highways. There are evolutions going on in highway design (quite a few in how they are built more than the end result) all the time, you just don\’t notice because they\’re small steps. And there are many billion dollar firms making money off building highways. Even if they are boring.

    Comment by Yakko -

  86. I agree with the point that there is still innovation going on right now with the internet, but the ideas, sites, and applications are not nearly as exciting as they were several years ago when broadband access became mainstream. Right now, the equation for moderate success on the internet is: topic of interest + web 2.0 technology = new social app that receives several weeks of fame.

    Kirk made a good point that there is still innovation in radio, television, and even highways – it\’s just not as exciting as it was years ago due to technological and engineering limitations and the lack of interest from the general population which results. The original debut is always hard to top.

    We need more bandwidth to allow for the \”wow\” factor to return. Until then, the typical reaction or lack of reaction will be just average.

    Comment by Jared Bieberich -

  87. Hmm, I am not sure I am following your argument. Are you saying that once a platform becomes stable, there is no more innovation? So once the internal combustion engine became a stable technology, all innovation in the automotive industry ceased? Are you saying that there is no innovation in the airline industry because people no longer have to worry about the airplane crashing? Man, tell that to Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force.

    That sounds pretty silly doesn\’t it? I mean tell the Ferrari enthusiast that cars are boring and dead. Hell, tell the environmentalist driving around a car that runs on corn that innovation is dead. Tell the millions of people whose lives were saved by new safety technologies like the airbag that no one is innovating automobiles anymore.

    I think what you may be confusing with innovation is watershed moments in a technology\’s evolution. There were millions of innovations that lead to the Internet. There are millions more going on in internet technology right now that will lead to the next watershed moment that eclipses the Internet.

    Like with the car example. They have become much more advanced and sophisticated than they were when the internal combustion engine became a \”stable platform\”, but it will not be until they achieve another defining characteristic – like they fly and use hydrogen for fuel – that will make for another watershed moment. But there is no way to that moment without tons and tons of little and big innovations.

    I don\’t know, I read this blog regularly and this post makes me wonder if you are just trying to write a headline, \”Mark Cuban declares Internet \’DEAD\’.\” Is that what you are doing? Bummer if it is. Way into the honest, no b.s. approach you usually have.

    Comment by Mike C. -

  88. There are interesting points you mentioned but I don\’t believe we can seperate YouTube, Myspace, etc. and Internet to different sides.

    Comment by blockedmind -

  89. The reason the WWW has stopped evolving is because people need it now and because the manufacturers/developers have become complacent.

    Just when people didn\’t absolutely need cars back in the 40s, 50s and 60s, the cars were cool, exciting and visually appealing. As soon as the people became dependant on the automobile, the manufacturers stopped making them exciting. Ever realize that cars shows still only feature cars from before the 70s? It\’s because cars are boring as-all-get-out now. Sure they go faster and last longer and do more, but that\’s not exciting… well perhaps going faster is but you really can\’t utilize that feature without breaking laws and incurring great risk.

    What will change the internet is if a few insightful and generous powers-that-be, selflessly dump a tremendous amount or time, energy and resources into an enormous update of the entire WWW infrastructure. Only then will things change (either that or a complete ruinous collapse will have to occur to change things as they are now).

    Comment by GOT -

  90. Mark,

    With fully respect to you and what you have done, I sincerely, however, disagree with this statement you had made. The internet is still far far away from EITHER dead OR boring.

    \”The web is evolving.\” When I say this sentence, I really mean more than other people say about it. In fact, I have done some very careful study about web evolution and conclude that the current web is still on its very early stage of evolution. This conclusion allows me believing that the web is now not only living but also living fabulously.

    Currently I am writing a series about web evolution (which is actually an updated version of my web evolution article) at my own blog. I think you might be interested in reading them. In this web evolution series, I introduces a very new vision about World Wide Web. Based on this new vision, step by step I will show how new things (here I mean really new and creative ideas) can and will be invented in the future WWW.

    The World Wide Web, unlike many other artificial products, is on a self-evolving process as if it is a natural product. This is probably the most fascinating side about WWW.

    — Yihong

    Comment by Yihong Ding -

  91. I enjoyed reading this post. I do agree with a lot of what you said. I am not here to discuss what I disagree with, but ask what you think Googles plans are with this so called \”Dark Fiber\” that they have been purchasing?

    Its obviously infrastructure to support some high traffic initiative(s), but what? My guess is it will involve media distribution and possibly enhanced voice communications.

    Googles dark fiber probably wont improve bandwidth throughput in the \”last mile.\” CableTV/Internet and Telcom providers are going to make as much off their existing infrastructure as possible and Googles dark fiber wont reach the home. Hopefully wireless technologies improve in a manner that allows for significantly increased bandwidth throughput, reliability, security and range so home users can skip the \”last mile\” and connect somewhere closer to the high bandwidth thoughput internet backbones.

    Comment by Jordan -

  92. Regarding throughput, Malthus theorized that the \”throughput\” of a civilization vis-a-vis food (and resources in general) would be outstripped by population growth. He got both sides of the equation wrong. While the physical pipe might seem too narrow to forecast logarithmically increasing bandwidth, novel utilization of that pipe is difficult to forecast at best.

    More interesting to my mind, is that while the internet qua internet may now be a stable platform, there will be and indeed are already profoundly innovative applications that are directly derived from it. Some of these applications will have implications of equal, if not greater influence on science, culture, politics, etc. than did the internet during its ascendance.

    Then again, I just took a shower in absinthe, so YMMV.

    Comment by Eliot Frick -

  93. i agree, but boring? maybe. dead? not quite. i agree that it has become a utility, but using your analogy with electricity, not everyone is powered up yet. it would be dead if use was limited like it was five years ago. it hit the mainstream and is embraced by many, and that alone will keep it from being \’dead\’. while you can argue that we are limited by the amount of information we can get through our current broadband, our human intellect will reach a point where we are unable to consume all that we want.

    Comment by j.verhine -

  94. I respect you, but I really think you are off on this one. The internet has completely changed in the past 5 years and I think its potential is virtually unlimited. I understand more infrastructure will need to be built, but the demand will be there and with the demand will come the funds for the infrastructure.

    Comment by Rob -

  95. Have to agree with Kirk…I think there will still be plenty of good things to come with the internet. Many smart people out there will continue to develop, including you! I hope that in the next year you will look back on this post and rewrite it to include advancements that will come to make the highway more efficient and therefore more capable.

    Comment by J Sandifer -

  96. Dude, you\’re off your rocker on this one. The wheel\’s evolution has slowed, but it\’s far from done, and completed. So are the other items you\’ve listed. Radio, generally speaking has evolved to allow wireless access, etc. Car radios have even evolved to satellite receivers. TV: Flat screen, Hi Def; Planes: Faster, bigger, more acrobatic, quieter, more fuel economic; Highways: adding recycled tires to asphalt mixtures to increase lifespan of hwys AND tires. The evolution of these things was never at the speed that the net has evolved, but none of them have completed evolution, they\’ve just slowed down.

    Comment by Kirk -

  97. C\’mon Mark. The net has only really started pragmatically about 10 years ago. Plenty of more room to grow. Lot of assumptions made on your part, like: Who says it has to be a hardwired last mile?

    -jim
    http://marketsaw.blogspot.com

    Comment by Jim Dorey -

  98. For the 90% of consumers, the internet is boring.

    But replacing the internet for research, government is the 2nd private version of the internet.

    This is just like the original but on separate lines, or bandwitdh, not sure..

    But about 2 years ago I was listening to NPR. A researcher in Mass. was remote controlling an under water imaging robot in the kelp fields of Monterey Bay, CA. Can you imagine the throughput required for real time imagery, in high enough definition to conduct detailed research?

    Soon enough, that will be available to corporations, local governments. And the home is not too far after that.

    What cable provider and phone company isn\’t salavating at that?

    Comment by Total Sports direct -

  99. but where would we be without wikipedia?

    Comment by sterling -

  100. Please help spread the word that DSL is not broadband. The \”Kentucky Model\” is not the model the nation should adopt:
    http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/news/2007/08/16/kentucky-is-broadband-model/ follow the links to read the Kentucky Model.

    It\’s sad when the average down is 5mbps in the US when Sweden and France it\’s 15 mbps down, and China and Korea it\’s 60+ down.

    If the Kentucky Model gets adopted we will fall further behind the rest of the world.

    As ridiculous as it sounds, we are very close to having this standard being adopted by the FCC at ratified by Congress.
    Then the politicos will brag how the US has advanced because XX% of the country has access to \”broadband\” aka DSL.

    Comment by Mark Van Patten -

  101. Mark:

    I think there are still \”explosively exciting new ideas\” that will make the Internet less dull and boring. So much so that I\’m going to post one right here in order to hopefully get some feedback from your readership. So here it goes:

    I\’d like to share here my idea for the \”Private Identity Network\”, on which I have since applied for several patents. Members of the Private Identity Network (PIN) could log on with their Private Identity Provider (PIP) when they use any computer anywhere. Your Private Identity Provider would then provision your real, pseudonymous, or anonymous identity to any Internet site you visit that requires some level of identity or security information. Secure connections between PIPs will form the Private Identity Network as a new secure layer surrounding the existing Internet- you may think of it as a gated community on the Internet that most everyone will want to live in.

    Private Identity Providers would require real world documentation when registering new users and would work together through a Network Guardian that is the central authority and makes sure each person has only one active registration on the Private Identity Network ever. In order to enhance security and provide for ongoing upgrades, the Private Identity Providers will compete with one another for users by offering the most trustworthy service while the Network Guardian manages only minimal information to prevent duplicate registrations.

    Private Identity Providers will able to offer their services free to users as long as users agree to accept targeted marketing messages. Any Private Identity Provider that compromises a user\’s information intentionally or unintentionally will most likely ruin their business as users will abandon them for a more secure Provider. Identity Providers should be very lucrative enterprises, as they will have an unparalleled look into their user\’s lives and be able to target marketing messages much better than any existing technology.

    By using an Identity Provider every time you use the Internet, you will have a service that both provisions your identity as you direct and protects your identity as you direct. Life on the Internet changes radically when users become accountable to their actions. Most of the common problems of the Internet may soon disappear.

    If this sounds too good to be true, please let me know your objections by visiting my site, http://replacegoogle.com. There may be fatal flaws here I have not considered or there may be objections you have that are covered in the Q and A there.

    Comment by Trey Tomeny -

  102. Kray, I think you showed what Mark was talking about. Yes the internet has penetrated into more homes, and more people are using it…but as a physical thing it has not really changed. He said it has become more of a platform now than an evolving technology.

    Comment by Matt -

  103. Mark, I agree across the board. But it\’s kind of like saying \”if you consume more calories than you burn, you\’ll gain weight.\” It is the nature of how things work. Successful new breakthroughs that are very useful and highly adopted become utilities/commodities.

    Ever it was, ever it shall always be.

    But isn\’t it the same with the last mile, too? And is that really \”next\”? Will the last mile really give us a new breakthrough or just more and better versions of stuff we\’re already used to?

    Comment by Robert Seidman -

  104. Hey Mark, The thrill is gone no doubt but just like the printing press, cars, etc that you mentioned. People that have it wont go without it. Its fast food compared to a nice meal as someone once stated but it is nice to use to just look something up instead of paging through a gazillion books to find out like lets say install a water heater, Its been a while since you done that Im sure though. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  105. MC: I agree! Outside of getting news via the usual suspects, it\’s basically boring. Unless you belong to a very cool and private social network, there aint much happening on the internet. Farcebook and myskag are no longer novelties and are now being used to promote political candidates and commerce on the internet! So what are you going todo to gets to the next level?

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  106. Mark, I both agree and disagree with you. I disagree in that 5 years ago the web was a very different creature than it is today.

    While fundamentally it has not changed much, the penetration of broadband across North America has skyrocketed, allowing sites like MySpace and FaceBook to skyrocket with it. 5 years ago, I was not surfing google maps to find my way around, I was not (and still am not) spending half my time on sites like Facebook checking what other people arnt doing (Because they are too busy updating their facebook!)

    I agree that it is becoming boring and does not have much in the way of innovation, but that can still change once more people have direct acces to Fibre connections (If the telecos actually lay it to houses!), I think this will help revive the internet and what it is to become, but until the bandwidth issues are resolved I think that we are stuck.

    Great post though, dunno if you saw the article on Portfolio.com or not (http://www.portfolio.com/views/columns/the-world-according-to/2007/08/23/Mark-Cuban)

    Have a great weekend!

    K

    Comment by Kray -

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