Yahoo Spent How Much? Google Bought What? Here Was Real Blood in the Water.

_Here is where the spinners bedazzle the easily confused. Consider this scenario:

Steven, a young web wiz, has just celebrated his bar mitzvah. He received a dozen gifts and must write a dozen thank-you notes. Being webbish, he creates an on-line “Thank-You Note Generator.” Steven shows the site to his friends, who show it to their friends, and soon the site is getting traffic from recipients of all sorts of gifts, not just bar mitzvah stuff.

If Steven created the site with CGI and Perl and used tables for layout, this is the story of a boy who made a website for his own amusement, perhaps gaining social points in the process. He might even contribute to a SXSW Interactive panel.

But if Steven used AJAX and Ruby on Rails, Yahoo will pay millions and Tim O’Reilly will beg him to keynote.

Eventually the uninformed stopped seeing a wasteland and started seeing bloggers, by which they meant only those bloggers who wrote about politics, most often from the extreme left or right. The web was “back” even though it had never left. (Of course, the fifth time you hear Wolf Blitzer say “blogger” or ask, “what do the bloggers have to tell us about these still-unfolding events?” the joke is stale and you wish those who don’t get the web would go back to ignoring it.)

But nothing, not even the rants of political bloggers, was as exciting as the scent of money. As the first properly valued “Web 2.0” properties began to find buyers, a frenzy like the old one popped hideously back to life. Yahoo spent how much? Google bought what? Here was real blood in the water.

To you who are toiling over an AJAX- and Ruby-powered social software product, good luck, God bless, and have fun. Remember that 20 other people are working on the same idea. So keep it simple, and ship it before they do, and maintain your sense of humor whether you get rich or go broke. Especially if you get rich. Nothing is more unsightly than a solemn multi-millionaire.

To you who feel like failures because you spent last year honing your web skills and serving clients, or running a business, or perhaps publishing content, you are special and lovely, so hold that pretty head high, and never let them see the tears.

As for me, I’m cutting out the middleman and jumping right to Web 3.0. Why wait?_