Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed… they are all going to fail and go away if the Web isn’t made economically sustainable. Each thinks they can independently find their own path to riches. It’s highly unlikely that this will happen. And it’s unlikely your Web startup will make money either. Why? Because the underlying Web culture and potential economics models are misaligned.
Yesterday, I proposed creating a for-profit consortium to realign the way the Web works so that
1. online non-search advertising finally works so that it can generate the wealth needed to sustain Web 2.0
2. individuals can earn money online expressing their talents and passions
These two things will create numerous gains, including improving the economy, the environment, world understanding, our individual wallets…. I will be outlining the many benefits my last “Part 3” post soon.
I expected at least some positive response to my article yesterday even though it was long (sorry, but the problems are complex…I’ve tried to make the solution as simply expressed as possible). All I got back was a couple of “What the hell is a for-profit consortium?” pokes.
Okay, that’s fair. They’re very rare, after all. Here’s an official definition of Consortium:
A group made up of two or more individuals, companies or governments that work together toward achieving a chosen objective. Each entity within the consortium is only responsible to the group in respect to the obligations that are set out in the consortium’s contract. Therefore, every entity that is under the consortium remains independent in his or her normal business operations and has no say over another member’s operations that are not related to the consortium.
Consortiums are often used within the non-profit sector, specifically with educational institutions. They often pool resources such as libraries and professors and share them among the members of the group. Several groups of North American colleges and universities operate under consortiums.
For-profit consortiums also exist, but they are less prevalent. One of the most famous for-profit consortiums is the airline manufacturer Airbus.
For the purposes that I’ve outlined, our “Square Triangle Consortium” would be made up of existing companies or startups in the tech space, and preferably some input from established media, too. We would negotiate how much each participant’s relative contribution is worth, create stock and then divide the stock accordingly.
The purpose of the consortium is to turn the economic quagmire of Web 2.0 in a hotbed for economic growth that will explode out to many sectors, benefiting everybody who is dependent on adverting – be is companies with something to sell or media.
Okay, so if you think of Web 2.0 as largely a bunch of different companies floundering around in search of sustainable business models, then what our consortium will do is align all stake holders’ interests – social network users, advertisers, developers, investors, media – so that ultimately each company can do its own thing.
Our goal is to make technology, advertising, media and entertainment work together again. The Internet broke a lot of the synergies between these sectors and we must get them back.
Okay, so I know my posts are a lot to absorb. But I’m right about this. I hope people will start taking a bit of time to understand what I’m saying and react to it, even if it’s negatively. I’m sure there are flaws in my plans that I haven’t recognized. That’s why we need a lot of divergent brains to come together and act for the Web’s common economic good.
There is much at stake here, Folks! Finding economic success for Web 2.0 is not just about making VCs happy. It’s about making sure social media survive and grow into Web 3.0 and 4.0 and on and on.