Russell Beattie's Rant: Too Many Startups Built to Flip

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28, 2005

Yahoo’s Russell Beattie has an entertaining rant about the lack of innovation among too many Web 2.0 companies. He has plopped them all into categories, such as “Scrape Engines” and “RSS Holes,” and there’s more than a grain of truth to what he’s saying. But I also think his criticism goes overboard. Many of them actually do offer useful features, and as Ross Mayfield notes, all great products start as features.

Alex Bosworth had the best response in the comments:

I’m sick of these companies like Google, with yet another search engine, hasn’t that been done? How about some originality? And how are they going to make money off of that, they show any ads, and if they do, won’t I just go to the next search engine that doesn’t?

And Amazon, how much debt do they have? I’m sick of these companies just borrowing and borrowing money, how long can Amazon live on the money they have? A week?

Even Yahoo… they are so over. Doesn’t everyone use Altavista now instead of an out of date directory that has to be assembled by hand? Plus they keep going into a billion new categories. Sorry, but I don’t want to buy things from a Yahoo! branded store. Plus Microsoft is already on my desktop and MSN just bought hotmail, Yahoo’s dead in the water.

Also, don’t people realize you can’t make money from advertising on the web? It just doesnt’ work. Does anyone ever click on those things? I never do, plus there’s just so much volume: there are a billion web pages I can stick my ad.

Heck I don’t really think this internet thing will work anyways. You have to wait for someone to deliver something you buy on it, all the people on it are weirdos and it’s filled with untrustworthy crap, and I’m so sick of banner ads and popups. It’ll probably be just like magazines and mail-order catalogs: small potatoes.

And he closes:

Just because there’s hype, doesn’t mean there’s no substance.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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