The Unbearable Ease of Web 2.0
Creating a Web 2.0 company is easy! Making money of it is hard! These are two profound and silent truths that anyone involved in the Web 2.0 era knows and finds hard to admit. Web 2.0 startups are quite similar to the startups that existed during 1994-1998 internet wave except for the new "boiler plate" business model, called "premium" services.
Cashing on new Information services has always been hard due to the lack of visible "labour" attached to its creation and users know that (Users pay for a printed newspaper). They know that they can get their service from someone else or get by without it and I am not saying that users are not appreciative of the efforts you put or are "cheap" on complements but the road from complements to real money is very very long(:
On a side note, Google is cashing out on the web 2.0 innovation spree and the rapid growth in usage levels of the internet though they are dependent on this phenomena of free information consumption in a similar way the smallest web 2.0 company does. The fact that they are big does not change the risk level they share with us even if they don't want to believe so.
It is quite disappointing to grasp that after such a long time of evolvement for the IT industry, the only way to make money and become a viable business is still to sell something of a value to businesses.
Still, a small light at the end of the tunnel emerges while considering the newly acquired user habits, where information has become a crucial component in everyone personal and business life and the transformation of energy (information) to matter (money) seems to take real shape (for users at least). This change in the way information is consumed can give birth to a new way of billing and monetizing information services in a manner directly proportional to the "value" the information creates for the user.