2008 may or not be the year that the dot-com bubble bursts but it is increasingly apparent it will be the “Year of the Deadpool” – something that should keep TechCrunch (and its Deadpool) busy chronicling the declines of many start-ups that it has enthusiastically covered in the past.
The growing population of the Deadpool will happen because many companies will run out of money, momentum, energy and time. They’ll fail to attract enough users, investors, revenue and suitors to make a go of it. Lots of companies will disappear, people will lose their jobs, and everything will be covered in glorious details on the blogosphere.
For all you eternal optimists, the good news is the Deadpool’s growth will be disappointing but not calamitous. In some respects, it will be a healthy development as weaker companies disappear, providing the survivors will more opportunities to succeed – something Charles Darwin would appreciate.
Look at the video market where Joost, Hulu and dozens of other players are scrambling for a piece of the action. Is there really room for everyone? No. So, what will it take for a few companies to emerge as viable businesses? Less competition would be a solid start. Check out Mathew Ingram’s post on whether Joost is cooked in light of its CTO’s firing.
It’s also important to remember that starting an online business is easier than ever so new start-ups will continue to emerge – a contrast to the last dot-com crash when start-ups and venture capital disappeared for a few years. As well, the Internet economy will continue to grow as advertisers take advantage of the Web.
So, let’s not cry about the Deadpool. Instead, realize it’s hopefully just part of a healthy ecosystem.