We all new that this would happen, google and microsoft going vying to build the biggest field of silicon trees. But what does this mean, and does it tie in with amazons latest service?! I think that undoubtedly it does.
There’s talk about a last man standing game when it comes to internet bandwidth. And I can imagine a time when we might see the internet behaving like the freeways in L.A. at rush hour. But this is more, I think.
I’ve mentioned before that the whole goal here is to “be the internet”. I don’t think that goal has changed recently. Google has sown the world two things: First that there’s a vast amount of power to be wielded by being “the internet” to the average Tom Dick and Harry, and Second that the title is *always* up for grabs. A while back Yahoo! was the internet, before that AOL was the internet, before that newsgroups were the internet. Need I say more? And each of those companies wielded an extreme sway over the comings and goings of the internet.
But now the internet means a lot more than it used to. Now the internet is sales, it’s revenue, it’s marketing, people are watching, people are reading, people are listening, and– most importantly — people are being influenced by this “new fangled internet thing”, “oh, you mean Google?”
So there’s now a lot more riding on who gets to “be the internet” these days. The one thing that ginormous corporate entities can’t seem to get a hold of is the fickle way in which the internet is backwards from real world businesses. In the real world it’s all too common for a newcomer to storm into a market, take hold of it with genuinely better product, and then let all that slip away into mediocrity and poor quality. And the kicker is that people will *still* pay for it if it’s crap… as long as its tangible. But the internet is fickle. It’s sort of tangible but more or less ethereal.
I think for the first time people outside the scientific communities are getting wind of a crazy idea: insubstantial value. That is something that didn’t have value a minute ago, wont have value a minute from now, but at the moment is extremely valuable. Which, inherently, means that this thing has the constant need to justify itself. I’m no economics guy, and I’m certainly not in touch with the “average Joe” (who would almost certainly not follow me through more than two or three blog posts) but I think the difference here is that there’s no physical reality to intimidate us.
We don’t have to grow particularly attached to anything on the internet because it’s not “in our lives” we’re in its life. It doesn’t take up space in our house, we take up space in its house. For once in our lives we find that we aren’t the ones who are at the mercy of demand, but are – in fact – in demand. It’s a feeling of empowerment that is slowly but surely changing the world. Mark my words children n classrooms 100 years from now will be studying the historical impact of all of the events which are happening before our eyes at this very moment, in this place that’s not a place.
I think I’ve become side tracked. Oh yes, consumers being in demand, corporations unable to handle the discrepancies of the actions of the same people online and off line, and… Ahh yes… The underdog.
Why, do you think, it is that in this virtual world so often it’s the couple of guys who met in college coding outside a cafe, or this dude in his moms basement, or a couple of people who tried to do one thing but failed fantastically into doing something else completely right? Because people of talent are, all of a sudden, relinquished of the necessity to offer anything physical… People with a talent for the ethereal, all of a sudden, have a place in which the ethereal acquires value.
And, as in any underdog story, these small (sometimes rare) meteoric rises to the top will carry others with them. And these are the kind of people who remember the hands that helped them up.
So, sure, bandwidth and all that. But the people who make it easiest for those suited to developing the intangible will have everything to gain in the long run. Amazon sees this, and is doing an amazing job with it. Their recent successes with S3, SQS, and EC2, are testimony to their understanding of this new ecosystem. But they ought not to think that Google and Microsoft haven’t noticed this and where the young blood is heading.
Make no mistake, amazon has made extremely agile, grassroots, moves to “be the internet” from the bottom up… But there will soon be a clash of services as G and M do the same from the “top down” and “sideways in” respectively.
I will say this: The first company to crack the database problem will have a distinct advantage in the struggles to come.
Disclaimer: Everything I just said is more than likely to be complete nonsense as I just kind of rambled it out “stream of consciousness” style .