I would argue for mini-depression-proofness in Social Media because we in the Tech world have been through a depression recently. Between March 2000 and let’s say Summer 2002, 30% unemployment and vanishing tech sector companies were the norm. Unlike real estate and financial industries, Tech has a very near-term memory of devastation. Many, like me, still have scars from those days. We are already the drepession era grandparents of Web 1.0, and we have taken precautions. We start on a shoestring budget, we pay as we go, we keep the lavishness in check until the check clears.
Before the Great Depression, over 250 car manufactuers existed in the U.S. alone. After the depression, the only automobile companies left were assembly-line-based manufacturers. Economies of scale demanded a car be made cheaply enough for a struggling depression era family to afford one.
The Social Media explosion of the past 3 years has produced a pre-depression level variety of shall we say “mobile” services, as pictured above.
Striking a pessimistic pose, let us say this current economic crisis ends up being a “mini-depression” as Bill Gross recently opined here.
What will the Social Media, or digital landscape look like after a real shake out? Will the boutique shops make it, unlike their depression era automobile counterparts? When the tide goes out, how many are swimming naked, as Buffett would say?
As long as a few services like WordPress, Typepad, Youtube, Google, and Yahoo survive, the rest of us Tucker-like companies will too. We don’t have an industrial revolution in progress as in the 1930’s. We have an information-based digital revolution in place. And we do not need assembly line efficiencies to survive. We need useful networks, useful digital literacies, and useful content to survive. It is still a Blue Ocean for many. Can you be connective, useful, relevant, engaging, and digital in your niche? (accidental acronym C.U.R.E.D)
If yes, you’ll survive. If no, see this.
One could argue the plethora of Social Media companies grew out of the need to network with each other for support through the 2000-2003 Tech era’s difficult financial times, and the need to not be reliant on one source of funding, and the need to be independent of single location-based work forces or local economies. This is why many will survive the current devastating downturn, at least the ones started by Web. 1.0 grandparents. (anyone over 30)
Actually, it is time to step things up a bit. Great environment in which innovate.
Just a thought.