The Hippie Web is dead; enter the Money Web.
Yesterday I gave a talk for a global investment firm. I told them that the Hippie Web (2005-2015) had died and that it was time to prepare for the Money Web (today and onwards).
The investment firm had flown in chief strategists from SOMO, Rapp, Qubit, Forward, and Whispr Group. We represented different types of digital agencies (mobile, digital advertising, conversion, search and social).
The firm’s investors wanted to inform themselves about the digital future for brands and were eager to hear us present our perspectives.
The other chief strategists pointed to countless examples of interesting trends and developments, but I wanted to discuss the digital transformation more from a birds-eye view. Since I was the last presenter to go up, I was happy with my decision to paint with broader strokes.
These were my talking points:
The Dot-Com Bubble gave way to Social Media. We all know how the dot-com bubble happened. Many of us saw the enormous business potential of the internet. But everything moved too fast, and somehow, we forgot two vital ingredients — e-commerce know-how and technologically adapted customers. In the wake of the dot-com bubble, social media found its place amongst the rubble.
Social Media gave way to the Hippe Web. Once social got a firm hold over the internet, the online revolution was powered by social interaction and information sharing, not commercial transactions. The adoption of social media was explosive, paving the way for a new class of social media naturals.
The Hippe Web gave way to Social Graphs. Brands were cordially invited to participate (“join the conversation”) on the Hippie Web, but at the core of every online interaction was the social graph (i.e. nodes in a network of social relationships). Online virality was among the first proofs of the social graph’s immense power.
Social Graphs gave way to Big Data. One outcome of how users connect and share with each via their social graphs turned out to be an incredibly valuable business asset — big data. By analysing online behaviours, we can learn to become increasingly successful in converting information consumers into buying customers.
Big Bata is now giving way to the Money Web. With big data, we now have the foundation for e-commerce know-how. And with 15 years since the dot-com bubble, we now also have technologically adapted customers. From here and many years forward, we will see online payments replace physical payments at a rapid rate.
What To Expect From the Money Web
Here are a few takeaways from my talk at the investment firm: