Take home message from Web 2.0 Expo: The birth of the giant component

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Web 2.0 Expo is behind us, our cool LEGO wall is safely tucked away till MashupCamp and we even had 19 hours of flight to think it through, and ponder what is the take home message from Expo.

Well, since we were totally swamped and didn’t get a chance to visit even one talk throughout the three days, my insight is totally based on what was going on in the floor downstairs. Yes, there were 115 companies presenting, most of them start-ups which try to ride on this marketing slogan called “web 2.0”, but we also saw quite a few participants coming from mainstream businesses. IBM is probably the best example, leaving a big blue (or actually red) footprint with its demos and great booth. Then there was Nokia, which rocked with what stands to just might be a worthy response to iPhone, and of course, all of the usual Web suspects. More importantly, the floor was filled with guys that are not your typical “web 2.0” geek, but rather enterprise folks who tried in ernest to figure out how we are relevant to their business, and what can they do with us internally. So my take home message is that we should be ready to see an avalanche of companies and enterprises adopting products and services which we’ve come to think of as “web 2.0”. I suspect though, that these won’t be the usual suspects you tend to see in “productivity 2.0” conferences. Google Docs is cool, as well as thinkfree and Zoho, but they’re probably not the first candidates to penetrate the concrete wall a.k.a. “the IT department”.

Rather, disruption will penetrate first. Think of e.g. Twitter for the enterprise (“Big Boss: Going to fire Jonny”, “Jonny: Just got fired :(“). Companies like IBM (which we should thank for promoting Dapper during their sessions), Reuters and Nokia are paving the way, proving agility and response velocity a la web 2.0. Perhaps then, that’s the true meme of web 2.0: Release Early, Release Often

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