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Could the Cloud Spawn a Multi-Trillion Dollar Company?
Here's my opinion on all of this: Web 2.0 needs to eat itself, Cloud Computing needs a pee break

Taran Rampersad's Blog

Paraphrasing Einstein, the future will not be created at the same level of thinking which created the past and the present. In Hugh Macleod's 'The Cloud's Best-Kept Secret', he writes: "...Nobody's saying that one day a single company may possibly emerge to dominate The Cloud, the way Google came to dominate Search, the way Microsoft came to dominate Software."


Tim O'Reilly recently published Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing - and for a passive read, it makes sense in the grand scheme of things. But when you take some things to task, as Nicholas Carr does, there are many questions that can and should be asked. This is a good thing.

For example, the concept of Power Law - even described in Web Science: Studying the Internet to Protect Our Future (Nigel Shadbolt and Tim Berners-Lee; Scientific American) - is seemingly generalized to many things without really putting the evidence out there. Sure, for some it could be intuitive - but when intuition is a slave to the language that we create to explain things there are obvious loopholes. For example, at the core of Power Law in this concept is the assumption that popularity means correct. If you go to a high school reunion and see what some of those cool people from your younger years have done with their lives, you may want to revise the assumption that popularity is the equivalent of correct or the best.

All of this discussion was initiated by Hugh Macleod's The Cloud's Best-Kept Secret, where he writes:

...Nobody's saying that one day a single company may possibly emerge to dominate The Cloud, the way Google came to dominate Search, the way Microsoft came to dominate Software.

Monopoly issues aside, could you imagine such a company? We wouldn't be talking about a multi-billion dollar business like today's Microsoft or Google. We're talking about something that could feasibly dwarf them. We're potentially talking about a multi-trillion dollar company. Possibly the largest company to have ever existed...

Some say that this has already happened. When you consider that companies have to spend more than the monopoly on R&D to compete, it all seems doom and gloom. But there's a mistake implicit there as well: the startups who dominate now started on the premise of new paradigms and were able to survive and thrive. Other startups, who are not really mentioned in any of this discussion, did similar things and failed. There is peril in studying success alone; it leaves an open doorway to failure.

Here's my opinion on all of this: Web 2.0 needs to eat itself, Cloud Computing needs a pee break and the world has to wait for the new paradigm. Paraphrasing Einstein, the future will not be created at the same level of thinking which created the past and the present. The same level of thinking leads to...stagnation.

 

About Taran Rampersad
Taran Rampersad, a programmer, writer, and R&D guy at large is an Independent Contractor at KnowProSE.com. He's a firm believer in self-sustaining ICT as a tool and mechanism for bridging the digital divide. Generally speaking, he believes technology should be used sensibly to improve the quality of life of all human beings.

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