This blog post is written by guest blogger Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. Boris is one of the founders of The Next Web Conference and co-hosts TNW Summit 2012.
The web is changing the world around us and how we deal with information. It is changing our jobs, our perspective on the world and the way we communicate. And while we try to adapt to this new world, the web itself is an ever-changing phenomenon increasing its speed.
When we look at how the web has changed since it gained widespread adoption at the end of the previous century we see a roller coaster of innovation, death, rebirth and recombination of ideas. Every other year new services come to life and suck away all attention from the current market leaders. MySpace had 300 million users before Facebook stole its thunder and became the dominant social network. Before that Friendster ruled the social networking world.
Free homepage providers got replaced by free blog platforms. These are now being replaced by Tumblr blogs and Pinterest. It is a coming and going of new ideas, project and companies. This process of creative destruction creates a fertile environment which is ideal for rapid prototyping and hypergrowth. Instagram is adding a million new users per day and although we are all amazed by those numbers we also realize that such growth is possible because of the state of the web. Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon, argues that cloud computing is the future of the web as it removes scaling issues for companies that are experiencing these kinds of growth spurts.
To launch a company back in 1999, it would take a million Euros, a minimum of one year, a team of developers and several servers. Now all it takes is one developer, a cloud hosting contract that scales along and a long, coffee and pizza fueled, coding weekend. Case in point: Instagram was sold for a cool billion only 500 days after it was founded. It serves its 35 million users with only 13 employees and accomplishes all of this by using cloud based services. This is only possible because companies like Amazon make it possible for startups to scale effortlessly and not worry about hosting issues.
New and infinitely scalable Technology
When we look at the opportunities that lay ahead it is interesting to look at Mark Randall’s vision on how all this new and infinitely scalable technology is empowering the individual. We have access to tools our parents, and their parents, could only dream of. A medium sized laptop contains everything you need to produce professionally edited movies and high quality music or photography. Now a typical mobile phone has a built in photo and video camera that would have cost us thousands of euros only 5 years ago.
All these tools then connect to the web giving us infinite storage space and distribution. Randall argues that this access and power will double our creative powers, improve our lives and ultimately change the world. New web technologies enables us to globally crowd-source human creative potential. Having access to the best designers, writers, filmmakers, photographers or artists from anywhere in the world, no matter how old or experienced they are, makes it easier and more efficient to find creative talent.
At The Next Web Summit several high profile web visionaries, including Werner Vogels and Mark Randall, take a look at what the future of the web will bring us. By extrapolating current developments but also looking at breakthrough technologies that will change the course of history we try to predict the future and see how it will affect our own businesses. The future is different and as businesses we have no choice but to adapt. We can either slow down and let developments drag us into the future, or take the expressway, rush on and get there before anyone else. For those willing to jump into the deep end TNW Summit is a great moment to see where it will all lead to.
For more information about The Next Web Summit, please visit http://thenextweb.com/conference/summit