Grave Dancing: Implications for Search
May 20, 2012
I read “The Golden Age of Silicon Valley Is Over, and We’re Dancing on Its Grave.” I like the metaphor of grave dancing. A trifle medieval, but I think the sentiment matches the post Facebook IPO. I am surprised that no MBAs did high dives from Wall Street sky scrapers on Friday, April 18, 2012, but perhaps I misunderstood the CNBC headline about Facebook’s underwhelming share price performance. There were not too many financial mavens dancing to Rufus Thomas’ Walking the Dog on Friday evening.
There were several passages in the article which I snipped for my quotation collection. Let me highlight several.
I liked this statement by Steve Blank, “a professor at Berkeley and Stanford and serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley.” He allegedly said:
Companies like Facebook for the first time can get total markets approaching the entire population.
I think 900 million members is a good population, just not an “entire population.” Why quibble? The point is that consumerization makes simplicity job one. Complexity has to be hidden and kept away from the users.
Second, here’s an opinion which some may find out of step with the happy squirrel approach taken by most Silicon Valley cheerleaders. He, according to the write up, opined:
Silicon Valley is screwed as we know it.
Well, the Better Business Bureau needs to get on its pony and ride, baby, ride.
Third, I liked the positive view of US government funded research:
Thank God we have small business research grants from the federal government, otherwise the Chinese would just grab them.
My take is that grave dancing is not likely to be the next Hokey Pokey, mashed potatoes, or schottische. The economy, not the social stampede and smart phones, may be calling the tune.
Perhaps that is why the “new” search from Bing and Google look a lot like the mid 1990s Excite with better typography.
Stephen E Arnold, May 20, 2012
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