Tech's Fifth WaveRob Hof
Michael Copeland and Om Malik have an interesting article on what they call the fifth wave of computing in the new issue of Business 2.0. It's a very different but related take on last week's cover story in BusinessWeek, The Power of Us. They contend, quite rightly, that cheap computers, open standards, and pervasive broadband are creating a new
wave of innovation that takes computing well beyond the first four waves: mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers, and the client-server model that led to the Web.
I mention the fine work of an ostensible competitor not because of Om's kind words recently about our story, but because anyone who's interested in the phenomena we wrote about--blogs, wikis, eBay's people-driven marketplace, Amazon's customer reviews, Google's canny search engine--will be interested in one of the clearest explanations yet of what's behind them all.
One of the more intriguing points: the way pervasive broadband is turning the Web into a sort of do-it-yourself software and services platform. When just about anyone can start a business on so little capital, thanks to the platform already in place, it's no wonder we're seeing so many startups blossoming, and so many established businesses scrambling to keep pace.