Web2.0 – a zero sum game?

The image above came from the Web2.0 Summit.

It’s actually a good analogy for explaining where the land currently lies, but as Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook stated, the web is not a zero sum game.  Whilst there have been lots of buyouts and ‘me-too’ applications as sites/applications/etc jostle to be the de facto for that specific category, the above map is only useful as illustrative of where we are at.

If you look back through the annals of history, this was the perception of the world at different times:



As the years passed we discovered more and more of our planet to where we are today with hardly any stone left unturned.

So, in the realm of web2.0 the map at the top of this post should be seen a point within the journey that is the discovery.

But, whilst the web sphere is not a zero sum game, our attention span is and that is the battle ground for companies – minutes, hours and days are finite.  Our capacity to process all the information that is on the web is finite.

This is reason why sites/apps are trying to converge so they can (ultimately) be all things to all people, as exemplified by the current buzzword for both Facebook and Twitter – ‘social-sphere’.

Who will win or what new players will come up within the next 5 years I have no idea, but I believe the map will grow and fragment before it starts to consolidate into a few small players and fewer big players.


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