Judging from the rumblings on Wall Street, we may be headed back to the Great Depression sooner than we think. And while we might not see New Yorkers selling apples on the street, or Okies making their west through the dust bowl, or we Filipinos fueling their cars with charcoal (as was the practice during world war 2), one fallout that netizens might be soon encountering is the death of the Web 2.0 boom.
I don’t always agree with the musings of Mahalo‘s Jason Calacanis, but this time I may have to concur with the man. As he writes, the fallout will include the drying up of Web 2.0 venture capital real soon now. As posted on his mailing list and recapped on Techcrunch:
It’s my belief that the economic downturn will be much worse than it
is today, and that 50-80% of the venture-backed startups currently
operating will shut down or go on life-support (i.e. 3-4 folks working
on them) within the next 18 months.
Make a list of every Web 2.0 startup to raise an A or B round and
cross 80% of them off the list, because they will not make it to their
next round of funding or profitability.
Now, I could be totally wrong. No one can guess or time the markets
perfectly. However, planning for the worst is a virtuous idea, so I
encourage you to read on.
Everyone I talk to is feeling confused, paralyzed and anxious–many
are in full-blown depression. People are scared, and they should be.
This could be the start of a very difficult time for our country and
the rest of the world.
The Twitters, GigaOms, Seesmics, and the all the other beneficiaries of the largess of the Web 2.0 boom may find things to be smoother sailing as we coast into the downward vortex ahead, but the new startups and ideas may find it harder to get things going.
I’ll wave goodbye to this chapter of the web, it was a great run while it lasted.
What lies ahead? I’ll toss a coin in the air and see where it lands in a Harvey Dent-ish way and guess that it has to do with Asia and mobiles.