The choice is ours

October 16, 2006

What it takes

Filed under: News and Comment — shippingpal @ 10:21 am

Today’s Guardian asks, “Can Britain produce a success like YouTube?” It’s a bit of a moot point for us, being located in Canada, but there are a number of valuable insights into the startup process that make the article noteworthy, and it’s a virtual rollcall of some of the more promising UK-based startups, including the always-useful lastminute.com, where I’ve booked a couple of things (they have a North American site).

There’s an overall optimism in the industry, which I think is the result of both high-profile M&As such as Skype and YouTube, and also a confidence that these firms have created something genuinely valuable. If the original Internet boom seemed somewhat like a bunch of mail-order catalogues suddenly putting their material online, the more recent one is definitely revolving around harnassing the unique characteristics of the medium – real time, networking, interactivity – to create entities that could not exist outside of the Web. That’s certainly how we look at our project, as one which provides real-time connectivity to a continent-wide data network, something which would have been impossible to achieve even a few short years ago.

Addendum (October 19th) – I came across an interview with Google’s North European chief Philippe Schindler, who expresses a similar view: “We believe the current development of the Internet and digital media consumption is standing on solid ground. Look at Amazon or eBay — they’re highly profitable business models. The idea of a bubble is in my view fully mistaken. The Internet will be a fundamental part of our lives. That’s where acquisitions will be prepared and carried out, that’s where future branding will be done, that’s where media will be consumed. In contrast to the so-called New Economy of the late ’90s, today’s Internet firms are earning good money.”

Currently reading: The Guardian

Currently hearing: Adapt or Die: 10 Years of Remixes (Everything But the Girl)

Currently watching: Spooks, Series 1 (BBC)

It’s Anglophile day at Shipping Pal!

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