Twenty years ago, when I was working on projects with AOL, we were sure that this was the next big thing for a long time to come. It was a profitable natural monopoly, one that could expand to serve everyone's needs. They were the end of the future of the Internet.
When one surveyed people in 1996, most thought AOL = The Internet. They were the same thing, game over.
Then, of course, just four years later, Yahoo cornered the market. It was where everyone started their internet experience. All you needed. That didn't last more than a decade.
We have similar conversations about the form factor and platform of the iPhone. And Facebook, of course, will be the way generations connect online… it's hard to imagine the next thing.
Until it's here.
As far as I can tell, there's always a next thing.
[Even better, it turns out that this thing, the thing we have now, is worth working with, because it offers so many opportunities compared with merely waiting for the next thing.]