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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Web 2.0 @ Light Speed…

I experienced a genuine epiphany last week while flying back from meetings in San Francisco. I had just finished a handful of meetings with many of our national banking clients and for the first time truly understood that Web 2.0 is authentic. This is not hype my friends, as many people have been speculating, it is for real! For those of you that have been thinking this is the old e-propaganda machine working the web, you are absolutely positively incorrect! I have proof…

Now you are saying, ‘How do you know this is authentic, Jimmy Boy?’ Well, let me transport you back to last week. It is a very nice fall day in downtown San Francisco. The weather is typical pleasant Bay, and the cold crisp air and shining sun is putting most people on the street in a great mood. I am sitting with my laptop in the Jukebox conference room of one of the top 10 banks in the United States. I am amazed at the energy that exists in this bank and the environment that I have entered. I walk around the office and see and experience distinct and unique signs that the digital revolution is alive. The atmosphere is stimulating and people are all running around frantically, but with a clear sense of purpose. I start to revert back to the days of being in the Neoglyphics (founded my Marc Andreesen) offices in Chicago and even some of the early start-up days of comScore.

The experience and environment has begun to open up locked away senses and feelings that has been dormant long before September 11th. I am like a person who has not had the ability to taste for years that all of a sudden can taste a dinner at Charlie Trotters. I am like a deaf person who all of a sudden hears a Beatles song for the first time in their life. I have been repressing these feelings for awhile now, and though I was aware the digital revolution was back, I was in pure denial.

This all comes to fruition as I am sitting in an office in one of the most conservative companies in one of the oldest professions in the world. These guys are talking, living, and breathing digital. They are uninhibited. They are free. Creativity is rampant and the repressed risk adverse business thought of 2004 is gone. When I say gone, I mean these guys have no risk of failure; they are too focused to worry about not accomplishing their goal.

I will tell you that walking into this bank office was like traveling back in time into early 1999, but with one important difference. The difference today is what I am calling cerebral vigor. We are talking about the technical oomph with lucid business judgment that will promise success this time around. Web 1.0 is the proverbial do-over, and those involved are not going to lose this opportunity for a second chance!

Well, I walked around the office and saw very distinct signs that the digital revolution was back, and it is spreading faster than the bird flu. We sat in many hours of meeting with the strategy and marketing folks at this large bank, and it was clear their focus had changed, even within the past six months towards innovation, creativity, technology and speed. It is like I walked into a totally different company that I had visited less than 6 months ago.

You don’t often get two chances in life. Many times you are just lucky to get one chance. I remember distinctly the unseasonably cool summer day in July of 2000 when I promised myself that if the net-conomy ever returned for real, I would not miss it. You see, I had sat and watched the original digital evolution in the late 90’s while sitting in a larger traditional public company. I felt that I needed to join those that were building companies like Google and Yahoo!, but I was making great in roads in my career and felt a move could happen at any time. Well, I waited until November of 1999, and only was lucky to experience about six months of the amazing environment. Unfortunately, I was able to experience the many years of the downfall of this economy.

So, long story short, it is time for me to join this digital wave. I need to be driving this damn thing, not watching it. I need to be in the frontline of making this happen. I am not sure what that is yet. It could be even reinventing what I am doing already, but it will be something. It will be something very soon!

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