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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dot Com Tech Bust 2011 Imminent?

Ten years ago, from the dizzying surge in tech stocks price, the whole market experienced a terrible crash that was termed the Dot Com Bust.

The dotcom success theory was for the tech company to keep on expanding its customer or user base as rapidly as possible, even if it has not produce any profit and perhaps chalking up losses. Products were offered free. Freebies get user. Hotmail was free (3 MB storage, and was cut down to 1 MB after the bust and user must stay active by logging on to the system at least once every 3 or 6 months). Netscape was free. Freewares. Free tools. Free signup. Free web hosting (Altavista, geocities remember?).

Fast forward 10 years to today, Web 2.0 has once again make it flashy to be techie. Web 2.0 perhaps is different. Websites are no more static with merely information and the contact page and a product. Web 2.0 means a whole new mesh system. User interactivity is paramount. Communications and social internet. User gets to interact, comment, blog, talk, video, post photos, change photos, ask questions, give answers, link, earn points, spend points, give points, Poke, play games, invite others, praise, like, create a support group, ask forum questions, download, upload their own videos, change the background theme of an application or even operating system, automatically update their software or system, allow others to collaborate and update their creation be it a blog and webpage. Think Wikipedia. Think Facebook. Think Bejeweled. Think Asus netbook.

It is just like when computer games were in 1980s, the interactivity was minimal. The computer screens were even made with just one colour displayed - green. Games were turn based. You can go out of the "virtual world". There is a set of paths and objects. You are not able to customise nor share. Now games are massive. Even the word massive is part of a game system - MMORPG. Massively multiplayer online role playing game. You can slam the wall. Cut the fake grass. Throw grenade at the ornamental chairs. Even sit on it. Squat. You can play games with others, using other computer system - you are on a PC, and your playing buddy could be on XBOX360. You can chat. Send gifts to friends. Invite them to your team. Explore or create an adventure. Earn points. Spend. Buy points. Sell gems or rare items. Trade. Customise your clothes. Change the hairstyle.

Convergence of system and interactivity has propel the internet age to a much richer environment than 10 years ago.

Daily Life in A Super Tech World:
1. Banking - everyday banking on the internet is officially the most widely done activity. Checking balance. Transferring payments. Credit cards and bills.
2. E-government - submitting tax returns, utility bills online, applying for a passport or visa (E-Visa) has helped government to streamline and reduce cost while providing efficient service for their citizens.
3. Air Tickets - the biggest commercial online transaction by value is certainly buying Air Tickets online. AirAsia, RyanAir, Jetstar, and even full service airlines have implemented easy to use, secure and fast internet booking and payment services.

Near Future:
1. With oil prices destined to increase, any country that has not implemented an efficient and low-cost public transport system will suffer. And this might spur online grocery shopping as well as food catering. Supermarkets will transform in Amazon like warehouses - focusing on packing and shipping out food and meals.
2. The greatest cities that will continue to prosper are those with an extensive network of mass public transport. Those without will see their citizens migrating abroad. And creating more cluster by moving into the biggest cities, creating more congestion. Mega-cities will continue to grow. Rising fuel prices will eventually shutter out rural living in most developed countries.
3. Hybrid cars and electric vehicles will continue to grow and thus the demand for raw materials that make them go will go up. Lithium - the storage of energy in the form of batteries. Nickel-cadmium to a certain degree. Fuel cell technology will continue to improve. The grab for coal and gas will increase.

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