John Hagel has a great account of a spike heading for your aggregator:
Tom in his best-selling new book says “The World Is Flat” and Richard in a new article in the October 2005 issue of Atlantic Monthly asserts “The World Is Spiky”...Richard focuses on one particular quote from Tom’s book: “In a flat world you can innovate without having to emigrate.” Richard responds that location still matters and that, by a variety of measures, the world is extremely spiky – meaning that activity is very concentrated in a relatively few locations.
Let me play Harry and introduce a frothy market proof point from today's Boston Globe (I'm also quoted in it on the bottom-up aspect of Web 2.0):
Web 2.0 companies seem to be concentrated in Silicon Valley, not Boston. Mike Hirshland, a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners in Waltham, told me he has been doing a lot of prospecting for deals on the West Coast and expects to finalize an investment in a Web 2.0-type company soon.
''You don't hear the term Web 2.0 much in New England," he said. The lone local company that was demonstrating its technology at the conference was Brightcove Networks, a Cambridge firm that is building a system to enable anyone to publish video on the Web and then make money when it's viewed, either by inserting ads or charging on a pay-per-view or subscription basis.
Now this may be one VC positioning himself for dealflow, but location matters for some things. The In the Valley, the difference is that open source and easy group forming has combined to foster a salon of code atmosphere that harkens back to the days of homebrew yore. There is a culture of sharing that underpins today's commercial spike.
The end of John Markoff's book pits hobbyists (Homebrew) vs. commercialization (Microsoft) as the conflict of our industry for years to come. A balance has been struck with commercial open source that supports both freedom and profit/