(Ed Note: I just started receiving several hits for the search term Gingervitis, within the last few minutes 11/9/05 10:30 pm...please leave a note in the comments if you know why the flood of searchers for this term...thanks!)
Just like that, all of the optimism over web2.0 is starting to disappear, as folks are jumping over themselves in proclaiming the end of the bubble. "Hey, did you hear? Some startups in Silicon Valley are just 'built-to-flip?'." Of course, folks have been saying that for some time, but the
memo meme seems to just bet getting around now.
As the bubble implodes, and many of these companies go out of business, we can be thankful that unlike Web1.0, the public will be spared from its wrath. Indeed, most of these companies will go under without the public even having heard of them.
One of the hallmarks of the current round is the so called stealth-mode startup--companies whose existence, and even name, is known, but whose product is not. Erick Schonfeld understands the appeal of the stealth-mode startup:
I call it "All of our Web 2.0 startups are built on off-the-shelf technologies and Web APIs that anyone can replicate, so the only competitive weapon we have is surprise."
Sounds right to me. I propose that this plague of stealthiness should be called Gingervitis in honor of the original stealth-mode company: Segway. In fact, Segway the company, very much resembles this year's stealth-mode star, Ning. Both were known by different names when they were keeping quiet, and both of them developed products which wildly captured the public's imagination until the moment the products were unveiled.
So there's my contribution to the meme: Gingervitis. Use it. Share it. Blog it. Search it, and Tag it on Flickr and Del.icio.us. when appropriate. Fittingly, we can all participate in web2.0's eventual demise.