Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Guiding Principle of Web 2.0

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the Web 2.0 Expo. The opening keynote address was made by Tim O'Reilly where he gave his perspective on the current state -- and future of -- of Web 2.0. For me, the takeaway from the speech was Tim's guiding principle on what makes an offering "Web 2.0". This is me paraphrasing...
A service that derives insight from user-generated data and then delivers to users capabilities based on that insight.
As a prime example of this principle, he talked about Wesabe (O'Reilly is an investor in the company). Wesabe, like Mint, is a next generation version of Quicken. It looks at your spending transactions to provide you insight into how you spend your money. By leveraging the spending data of their users, Wesabe recently introduced a new capability where it can compare different vendors (auto mechanics, for example) to see how much, on average, people spend at each of the vendors. That is incredibly valuable information for anybody that is at all price sensitive.

I've heard O'Reilly talk about this principle before but it's always a great reminder for me.

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