MTLC Web 2.0 presentation

This article was originally posted on September 21, 2006.

I attended a terrific presentation/panel discussion today sponsored by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. The topic was “Web 2.0 — How Will It Impact Your Business?” and speakers included software executives (including Dan Bricklin, widely known as the inventor of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet, as the discussion’s moderator), authors, angel investors and venture capitalists. Each brought a slightly different perspective to how the disruptive technologies are changing our lives (notably, first at the consumer level, then at the corporate level).

I have about 7 pages of hand-written notes, and could probably write about 1,000 words on this, but out of respect for the medium and the audience, I’ll summarize. Some points I took away were:

— the coinage of “Web 2.0” is attributed to Tim O’Reilly, who has written an excellent article summarizing exactly what distinguishes this iteration of web companies from those of the first generation. O’Reilly’s criteria for distinguishing Web 2.0 from that which came before it, with little material variation, were points of agreement among those in today’s session.

— persistence of transactions & data is imperative under this model, and assumed by its users. When, for example, users post their pictures on Flickr, they expect them to be there when they come back! Of course, it’s early enough in the lifecycle of web services that this expectation is not always met. A few tales of “service not available” made the rounds today.

— leading web 2.0 companies of interest: demandware, zillow (real estate mash-ups), myspace, facebook, youtube, Flickr, bungee labs, google of course, photobucket, navteq, permissionTV,, digg

The million (billion?) -dollar question, of course, is when and how do these disruptive technologies change the face of business the way Web 1.0 did? What will Enterprise 2.0 look like as these technologies are adopted in business by users who grew up with them as consumers? My colleague David Goldstein blogged on some early views of that in June and again recently relative to wikis and blogs in particular, but it’s just beginning…

Next up at MTLC: a chance to hear Alan Greenspan speak at the meeting Monday, 25 September.

Originally published at