May 13, 2009
This collage of web 2.0 logos should be pretty familiar to many people by now. It’s been knocking about for a few years, ever since the whole Web 2.0 Koolaid (what’s the British equivalent? Ribena?) started flowing.
During that time, I’ve seen it printed out and stuck up on the walls of companies and individuals, appearing in about a million blogs, and it should almost go without saying that this image gets used endlessly in presentations at events about the social web, or web 2.0 technologies, or the changing face of business in the last few years, or design and UX in the new web.
In that context, it is usually accompanied by sentiments like “Web 2.0 isn’t going anywhere” or “the social web is real and growing” – using the sheer quantity of Web 2.0-type offerings starting up in 2005ish as an indication of how much they were shaking things up and changing the game. Dare I even say shifting the paradigm? ;)
Anyway, having been professionally involved in one of the companies featured on the original logo collage, an avid user of a handful of others and a casual user (OK, I registered a username) for a whole bunch more, I’m as aware that the web 2.0 landscape has changed as you are.
So having recently been confronted with this image in a presentation (used as being indicative of current reality), I thought it was time that it was updated.
I present these updates without reference to or predicting the demise of web 2.0 or social technologies or anything like that. Just to be a bit more accurate.
The image below reflects which of this original set of companies have vanished or ceased trading, via the highly scientific method of searching for their names and clicking about until I could find reliable information about them.
The most reliable method seemed to be to go to the original Techcrunch (or mashable) hyping of the new service in 2005ish, and then follow the link to the company. If the link is kaput, then so is the company.
More than you thought? Or less? Certainly some of the daft names (and business models, and ideas) have dried up, but others remain, and still more have sprung up in their place, no doubt.
It’s also worth noting that there are a handful of others listed as alive on this diagram (or rather, not crossed out) which are, to put it politely, dormant or dwindling if not actually dead.
And this image reveals which (to the best of my knowledge or research) have been successfully bought by other companies, though some, like XDrive, have been terminal in spite (or perhaps because) of being bought by a larger company.
Here are the two bits of updated information together on one image.
(I’m aware that there’s also a longer version of this image featuring a host of additional companies. I’ll try and update the details for the longer list when I get a chance.)
Please let me know if I’ve missed or misclassified any.
Update: Four additional things you should know about this work:
- This image is an update of a well-known earlier work which was created in 2006.
- I have updated the image for the sake of accuracy, and not to call fail on Web 2.0. This is similar to redrawing a map which features Prussia – an interesting historical artefact, but you wouldn’t want to navigate by it.
- The original creator of the web 2.0 logo collage made the decision about which companies to include or exclude, based on his own criteria (which I don’t know, but could be success, buzz, logo design or something else).
- Because of this, it should be completely obvious that this list of companies wasn’t comprehensive at the time (there were many more web 2.0 startups at the time that weren’t featured) and isn’t now (there are hundreds of exciting and successful startups which have launched since 2006 and which aren’t featured). Many things on the internet are subjective and selective. The original collage was one. If your/favourite company isn’t featured above, sorry; this is why.
If anyone would like to make a new collage of startups in this genre for 2009, I’d be very interested to see it – please post the link in the comments. Here’s the collage above, but with all the defunct companies removed:
There are plenty of healthy and exciting companies around these days which could fill those empty spaces. Who’ll take on the task of filling the gaps?