Much to do has been made in recent months over the impending (although some may say it’s already begun) burst of our second .com bubble in 10 years. In recent months, we’ve all enjoyed the schadenfreude fest on the news, watching the bankers and top douchebags who wrecked the world’s economies get their comeuppance. We thrilled at their saddened faces as they carried their belongings out of their offices in those little boxes – distraught that bottle service at ‘trendy’ hotspots will no longer be amongst their bags of goodies they’d enjoyed for far too long, whilst the people they screwed over try to figure out how to stay in their homes. Of course, this comeuppance was topped with the whole DABA phenomenon – the dominion of douchebaggery crumbles before our very eyes and we laugh.
However, those of us in the digital sector should not be so cocky as we’re in for a rude awakening of our own. It’s life Jim, but not as we know it.
Ok maybe I’m being rather dramatic but all the signs are pointing to another major shift of the proverbial plates. We’ve had about 10 years of unprecedented growth: anyone with a cool idea that taps into all the crazy shenanigans of the youngin’s could have their company valued for bajillions of monies and live it up! Huzzah! Forget the business plans and ideas to make cold hard cash – make it popular and the VCs and/or other monied types can figure out how to make it spit out cash.
Those days are pretty much over, and an industry is forced to grow up. It’s highly doubtful that 2.0 will come to a complete end, that the bubble will burst and other cliches as well. I mean, the last big internet-based boom and bust didn’t really break anything, just our complacency and the way things were done. And now it looks like we’re due for another massive spring clean: the ride we’ve been on for the last 4-5 years is coming to an end and we are going to have to do some serious re-thinking.
It’s like the approach of adulthood after a few wild years of teenage insanity – you got away with it then because you could. Now, we can’t get away with it and we need to grow up and act like adults (*shudder*). Now we have to have proper business plans, worry about how to make money (and real money, not speculative-someone-will-buy-us-for-insane-cash money) and other things we well.
So, not only are we all going to suffer the next couple years of recession (thanks bankers!) and job insecurity, but those of us in a relatively young industry (one we chose precisely because it was so young and away from the stuffiness of older industries) are going to have to do some growing up. We don’t have to be happy about it, but we’ve got to do it.