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tunnel vision

Something I’ve talked with my friend Lee about extensively is the somewhat dangerous tunnel vision that goes on around here in the web/tech world. People seem to dismiss “old school,” companies as the has-beens of the economy. I swear I hear more about Digg supposedly being worth $60M, Facebook being worth well over $1B, or Delicious supposedly being sold for $30M than I’d like. These are not economic power houses as some seem to believe. Now don’t get me wrong, they are fantastic numbers for the investors and founders because these are low cost businesses to build/operate , but to portray any of these guys as new “players,” in the economy is laughable. Everyday, there are far bigger companies executing on 10, 20, or even 100 times the scale. Let’s not forget about the true leaders.

I think this guy sums it up best (from Reddit, via Drew )

Think about that, and then think about just how much panache WalMart has compared to google: Zero.

I get this impression everyday, and I’ve come up with an answer: I
am online everyday, and looks like always reading the same sites (a
little bit of herd mentality, I guess).

I was reading someone talking about how “Google is the 3rd computer era” and he made some snarky comments about IBM.

You know, IBM? That small 100 year old company with 80 billion in revenues last year? Yeah, that one.

And when I read about how Paul Graham got ~$40 million from his
“lisp startup” or the off-hours delicious got ~$30 million with “social
tagging bookmark WEB TWO POINT WOW” and people go NUTS on this, like if
it’s epitome of business, I just remember IBM makes daily deals of $200
million dollars.

Is it cool? Does it have free soda, candies and massages?
No. But do they know how to make money? You bet. And it’s damn hard to
make what IBM does too. If you play a video game from the next
generation, you own them that :p

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