Where's the next new thing in Silicon Valley?

Where's the next new thing in Silicon Valley?

Summary: Excellent article by Jeff Nolan, an ex-VC, writing in SandHill.com on venture capital investments and locating the next big thing.

SHARE:

Excellent article by Jeff Nolan, an ex-VC, writing in SandHill.com on venture capital investments and locating the next big thing.

Incrementalism and “The New New Thing” - With all the venture capital moving around in the Silicon Valley, where is the real innovation?

He makes many good points especially that there is a lot of money flowing into companies that only offer incremental improvements over what is already available.

The situation may leave the technology industry in another downward spiral if none of the “incremental” ventures hit it big and no other genuine innovation appears soon.

Incremental innovation just won't cut it. In my opinion innovation has to be disruptive otherwise it won't succeed, because there is little incentive to change.

I certainly agree with the Web 2-point yawn factor:

In my opinion, the worst thing that happened in these last couple of years is that damn versioning of what is a simply the broader continuum of the evolving Web. Define Web 2.0… just try it and you will see the futility.

And I totally agree with Mr Nolan on this point:

I am waiting for venture investors to once again discover that there is money to be made in enterprise software.

But what is next?

As I survey the landscape of consumer- and business- focused software and service providers I am struck by how much incrementalism there is at the moment. Something like Twitter is ground breaking in terms of breakout adoption, but what about the other 10,000 startups? There are few bold “aha” ideas, lot’s of social “-this or -that”, and mostly a bunch of companies hoping to draft on the perceived success of a few gorillas. . .

. . .The venture capital will no doubt continue to flow to these companies in the hopes that a few will rise to the top and get acquired. With the melt down in non-VC private equity I am sure that institutional investors will surge back into VC with abandon and this will prop up the Valley for the foreseeable future.

But I’m still left with the uncomfortable question of “What’s next?” When Facebook doesn’t deliver world peace, and FriendFeed fails to be better than sliced bread, what will we do?

SandHill.com | Opinion : Incrementalism and “The New New Thing”

I know when the next new thing will emerge...

It will emerge from this coming recession. The next new/big thing has always emerged from the bust cycles in SIlicon Valley.

This last one produced a two-way communications technology platform based on RSS (a blogging platform) that led to the flood of collaboration apps known as Web 2.0.

Topics: Browser, Banking, CXO, Emerging Tech

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The next big thing acquisition dilemma ...

    ... given that the best technology people develop using FOSS, can the buyout and convert model ever work?
    fr0thy2
  • RE: Where's the next new thing in Silicon Valley?

    your parting words give an interesting take on the positive side of a recession. Although I remain to view recessions with a sense of pessimism.
    quli
  • Who is innovating in existing companies?

    While we talk of valley, it is also interesting to note that companies like Google are slowly losing their Entrepreneurial Energy
    "...the company is starting to suffer something that could have an equally significant impact: a drain of some of the entrepreneurial energy that drove its early growth and on which its unique culture depends heavily."

    http://techwatch.reviewk.com/2008/04/google-faces-decline-of-entrepreneurial-energy/
    desmondhaynes
  • RE: Where's the next new thing in Silicon Valley?

    One thing that I've seen about Silicon Valley that's kind of cool are the "Tech in Action" Videos on Amazingtechproducts.com. They go to different Silicon Valley companies and do interviews and such. It's a good way to keep in touch with what's going on down here.
    milostone