Tim O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 even before HTML was widespread. I suspect our opinions align on these topics because we both went through the PC boom and bust then the Internet boom and bust. As a result, we have witnessed the grand visions of decentralization get dashed and recentralization take over, driving winners, losers, and revenue – which drives meaningful valuations. I’d urge everyone to read the entire interview, not just this small excerpt:
“Is all the money pouring into blockchain and Web3 a bubble?
Tim O’Reilly: I think there’s a lot that’s interesting about the blockchain, in theory. But when you really scratch, an awful lot of technical people have said, “Hey, there’s not a lot there.”
Now, that was also a response that many people had to the world wide web. To existing software developers of the day, it seemed trivial. So even though the technology is slow and very expensive, and it’s hard to use distributed databases, there’s a lot of investment pouring into the space, and people are trying to figure out actual things that might actually be useful. And I think that it is certainly possible.
Web3 is attributed to the idea that there’s going to be a new decentralized web based on cryptography and the blockchain. I defined this term “Web 2.0” 17 years ago, and my whole point was that Web 2.0 was the second coming of the web after the dot-com bus — that’s how I defined it.
When people ask me about Web3, I say the same thing: We won’t know what Web3 is until after the current bubble pops — because we’re in the middle of a bubble, just like the dot-com bubble, where there’s all kinds of crazy startups getting outrageous valuations, with less to show for it.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group