The long and short of it is that the Web 2.0 is all the rage and tons of folks trying to “ride the wave” by emulating the success of established Web 2.0 companies. I can’t tell you how many business plans and ideas that I have reviewed claiming to be the “Flickr of X,” the “Del.icio.us of Y,” or the “mySpace of Z.” With mashups becoming more prevalent, there is also a subset of new companies following the ever-popular, formula: Google Maps + Blogging + Social Networks + [INSERT BS SERVICE HERE].
I call the emerging class of Web 2.0 companies that subscribe to this approach Echo Companies 2.0. Echo Companies have become particularly fashionable on the East Coast, where there is a relative dearth of activity in the Web 2.0 space relative to Silicon Valley.
Bottom line, I am elated to see a resurgence of interest in the web. A ton of this stuff is amazingly fun to play with. But, I also couldn’t agree more with Josh and Fred – some of this stuff is just plain fluff. Does that mean that all Web 2.0 companies are created equal? More importantly, perhaps, does that mean that investors are not itching to dive in? No and NO! That being said, however, entrepreneurs beware – if you want to get VC dollars, you need to create something valuable enough to capture an audience larger than 53,651.