Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The internet is dead and boring... says Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban did an interview with Lloyd Grove and said the internet was on the decline. Due to the backlash from the interview he has followed up with a couple of blog posts amplifying and inflaming his comments and detractors.
Here are some of his comments:
The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead. They are dead until bandwidth throughput to the home reaches far higher numbers than the vast majority of broadband users get today. Few people's actual throughput to their homes have increased more than 5mbs in the past 5 years, and few people's throughput (if you dint understand the difference between throughput and the marketed downstream speeds your read from your ISP, you should) to their homes will increase more than 10mbs in the next 5 years. That's not enough to define a platform that allows really smart people to come up with groundbreaking ideas.
Let's be clear about my opinion of Mark Cuban. He is a visionary businessman that has created a billion dollar fortune out of ideas. That is something to be respected, in my opinion, because I spend a large part of my day trying to come up with the next winning idea. However, in this particular case I think he is dead wrong.
Let's assume for a moment he is right about the bandwidth that most people's homes will be able to manage. All that means is the smart people will have to think of ideas to make use of the bandwidth people have. I am sure there are start up companies out their right now that are working on data compression technology that will allow the kind of content delivery Cuban thinks necessary for the internet to advance. Maybe the better questions is why do people need more throughput to their homes for the net to advance beyond it's current state?
Take a look at the history of the internet and the creation and loss of great wealth that has come with it. Look at the new tools that are popping up and the different ways of interacting with everyone that is, was, or will be in your life. To say the net is in its infancy might be a gross overstatement, but it is definitely in its adolescence. The world is making demands and the markets follow demand. If the net truly needs greater throughput to expand, it will have it. My hypothesis is that someone will think differently and come up with a better idea of how to use the bandwidth that exists to advance the net for themselves and for the world.
No 1 of Consequence
***EDITOR'S NOTE*** A lot of my respect for Mark Cuban has been lost. He is scheduled to appear on Dancing With the Stars.

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