Monday, June 21, 2004

Kudos, Tim: The Power of a Great Idea Shared Openly

The mainstream media this week seems to be broadening its awareness of last week's story (e.g., the Times on CNET)on Tim Berners-Lee's receipt of the Millennium Technology Prize from the Finnish Technology Award Foundation, valued at 1 million euros ($1.2 million). I wouldn't think that Tim is starving these days without this recognition, but it's interesting to see some ten years after the launching of a simple yet revolutionary idea that was shared with the world that the untold billions of dollars made on Web endeavors in that time were all spawned by someone who just wanted to share a good idea with other people. Significantly the impact of the Web is really not a technical legacy - the basic underpinnings of the Web are essentially unchanged since its early days and were largely in place even before its birth - but instead the Web's true impact is the ability of people everywhere to share content with anyone and everyone anywhere with commercial considerations made secondary. Clearly this fundamental idea has not inhibited content ecommerce but has instead has enabled new kinds of content monetization that are only beginning to touch the true heart of the publishing industry as it has thought of itself. Today the alarmingly simple methods used to spread weblogs to desktops everywhere offer a similar revolution to content creators and consumers - thanks to a few courageous pioneers who just wanted to share a great idea. Looking at many pioneers of such transforming concepts it's a spotty track record at best on how individuals and institutions fare on monetizing such revolutions - ask the Wright Brothers how they cleaned up (not) - so perhaps Tim was right to just let the idea evolve into its own form for its own sake. In any event, thanks, Tim, hope that you enjoy the award as much as we enjoy what your idea has brought into our lives.
Post a Comment