Better is the Enemy of Good Enough – Web2.0

There has been a bit of a frenzy in the last two days about the definition of Web2.0 (see links below). When I was assembling our new corporate site for 83 Degrees, I hid my interpretation in a tooltip.

Simply put, “what is old is new again!”

This reflects both my own and a general perception that there is excitement again in building new systems and solutions on top of (and extending beyond) what has been built online in the last 10 years. I know I am excited. Nick, Juilie and I are hard at work on 30 Boxes.

That said, a lot of the hype is nauseating.

A new company (or a new product within an existing company) today must overcome an adage lifted from the NASA project manager’s handbook: better is the enemy of good enough.

So, your new thing (if it really is a new new thing) or your new take on the old thing, needs to be a hell of lot better than what came before or you are just wasting resources–errr spending money to obtain valuable lessons for the future 😉

Among the things that are most irritating or ironic in O’Reilly’s declaration:

  1. touting “perpetual beta” as part of something labeled with a version release number (Web2.0)
  2. O’Reilly’s 5 pager summarizes with 7 core competencies that are hindsight understandings of companies that have survived to date, but he omits profitability!
  3. there is nothing “lightweight” about developing a great product today–it requires creativity, attention to detail, attention to costs, and a distribution strategy
  4. Web.1.0 got better the more people that used it!

Another thing, there is nothing revolutionary about transparency, and, stop the press, I’m supposed to listen to the customer??!!??

With the upcoming conference there is sure to be more buzz and more bs especially as all this turns to spin. I just hope in 5 years there are no, Netscape, or Excite@Home stories. For those of you without scorecards, it is worth noting that Google has only one revenue stream. It’s a good one, but it is only one. And humbling to think that this guy ( has probably had more revenue than flickr,, and bloglines combined…

More reading:

Om got a log of this started. Jeff Clavier steers clear of the hype. Peter Cashmore uncovering a refreshing post by 37signals(and they get some credit for making money already!) And Seth Godin on “good enough”.


  1. Anonymous

    Touche’ !!

    Sounds like you should be joining us at Web 1.0 !

  2. Hello, can i use your information on my site?

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