Driving forces of Web 2.0 ?

Surely everybody has seen something about this Web 2.0 hype. As a technical guy I saw things like AJAX and stuff… I must admit I was not amused. There is nothing really new (maybe the combination) and some parts are forced way beyond the original design.

For me the more interesting part are the forces behind this. Technology seems only to be catalyst.

The Power of N
There is an extreme potential in people sharing the same interest. In Germany we have a very old tradition of clubs not only for sports but for all different sorts of things. Long time especially youngsters have seen this as a phenomena sentenced to die soon because it was not cool. For me it is interesting to see how technology (namely the internet) brought a revival to this. There are certainly pretty new aspects but still the drivers behind are the same. It is fun to share interests with a group. This can grow beyond all margins and can produce enormous value.

The Power of You
For me the main driver. For the first time the whole industry has to accept the idea of useability, of design, of making fun to the end user. For me it is very interesting that we could have learned this very early from other industries like mechanical engineering. One of my neighbors works for Caterpillar. In former days the driver of an excavator sat on a primitive chair, equipped with some handles which reflected the needs of the machine more than his own. This has changed dramatically. Now he is called Operator and has air-conditioning, electronic control support and stuff. And they can sell it because everybody (at least in this area) accepts that it pays off in the end. Something to learn in the area of software for professional use…
In other sectors it is well understood. Especially end user oriented web offerings where the user can easily change between offerings.

The Power of Value
Sorry to say but the internet is crowded with bullshit. Today the idea is to enter the web by starting a search and hopefully finding something related, of interest and trustworthy. We delegated the quality assurance to search providers. RSS brings a new quality to this since it supports the idea of subscription. This means a relationship which stays over time, not one ignited by a search result and about to die in a second. The relationship stays because it delivers value.
Next thing is that selling real virtual goods (and for me music is also virtual as long as it is not connected to the physical world like a CD) seems to work in the end. People are willing to pay as long as it delivers value. This is a dramatic change since the first wave of the internet everybody had the idea that you only have to search long enough to find every service for free.

So my thesis is – and this might be nothing new at least I haven’t found it explicit yet:
As long as an idea brings in at least two of the three it can be a success…

Proove me wrong…