Boom… But What Kind of Boom?

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Which is why I was totally flattered by corporate big brother Fortune’s latest cover story, How To Invest In The New Net Boom (Carefully.)
I don’t just mean that Fortune’s cover reminds me of ours (see photo). I mean that big brother is actually venturing into my territory, trying on my clothes, listening to my music and hanging out with my friends. Metaphorically speaking! (Of course, we’ve done the same thing to big brother.) So I figured, since it’s all in the family, I’d offer some respectful advice to my elders…
The Fortune story is certainly very different from a Business 2.0 story. It is about investments, for second-hand participants. Business 2.0, on the other hand, is about those who do things, not simply invest in stocks, and then pray. And that’s where Fortune gets into trouble. Fortune talks about the New Net Boom, only it is not so new. It’s been going on for quite a while, and readers of Business 2.0 have lived it.

An even bigger problem is that the investment-opportunity twist of the story and the predictable recommendations—Googles, Yahoos and Ciscos— is completely out of sync with the current boom, which is more of a “do-it boom.” Google and Yahoo are experiencing a shift in ad-dollars to the online platforms. It has been happening for almost five years; even big brother has noticed it before.
But please don’t confuse the “do-it” boom—which is all about new startups—with an investment boom. The boom here is about people starting companies, getting funded. Where’s the opportunity for second-hand participants? None of these companies are making money, or going public anytime soon. Only a small fraction will end up getting acquired. In other words, stock market investors, move along, for there is nothing for you in this boom …. yet. And when it is time, if you are a reader of Business 2.0 you will just know.