One of my more thoughtful (as in thinks deeply) readers sent me an email after my post on creativity. Kendall Kunz, who blogs here, is an inveterate entrepreneur with 3 or 4 successful startups to his credit. He is now working on a new startup, but I can't talk about it yet because I am a sworn to secrecy, official alpha tester. I will not publish Kendall's email but his point was that basically Web 2.0 is changing context and promoting creativity. That idea got me thinking about why Web 2.0 is changing context.
As a refresher, context is our background and preconceived ideas. In a previous post I talked about Israel Kirzner's theory of entrepreneurship. Kirzner defined the entrepreneur as having a unique, in depth understanding of the opportunity, an asymetry of information. Web 2.0 is a powerful set of tools that provides information in greater quantities than most of us have ever seen. Given that most of the information is user generated, the variety of information is unparalleled. The user generated variety is what is leading in part to a finer and finer market segmentation. With finer and finer segmentation the opportunity for an asymetry of information increases. As the likelihood of asymetry increases, the opportunity for a change in context also increases, thereby generating the creativity.
Much of what we have seen so far is the powerful new tools made possible by Web 2.0. The next big wave in creativity will be the uses of the information generated by the tools, wherein lies another huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. For example, all of the web pages tagged in delicious represents the opportunity to develop a search engine based on user tagged pages rather than an algorithm such as Google uses. (This example came from the Parallax blog.)
There is a conference--Defrag-- coming up on how Web 2.0 tools create layers of knowledge.