Restless web veterans

I’ve been in this business for a dozen years now. I’ve never lost my passion for it, but you know, for a couple of years there, it wasn’t especially exciting. IE had won the browser war, and wasn’t going anywhere. Google was just a search engine. Nobody had broadband. The iPod and iTunes were but a pipe dream.

Suddenly, we’ve got the whole web 2.0 thing going on. I get a real buzz using the new web-based services, things like Ruby On Rails, Flickr, 30boxes or Meebo. It’s a reminder of the pioneering spirit which built the industry in the first place. One person with an idea, and a smattering of tech knowledge, can produce something in weeks which can change the future. We’re seeing it on an almost daily basis… just look at the Techcrunch blog, for plenty of examples.

Which may explain why I’m feeling very restless in a corporate environment just now. The Web 2.0 phenomenon proves it is still possible to produce great results in minimal time with minimal resources. But what about the corporate environments? I wouldn’t ever have believed that increasing the resources would actually increase the time required. But I believe it now. I achieved much more in the first four years of my career than in the last eight… and that really hurts.

I know I’m not the only one thinking like this. I know too many (exceptionally) good people with similar experience in the industry, all showing signs of restlessness. We were drawn to this business by the sheer pace of progress; and now we find ourselves in comfortable corporate jobs, where timescales are measured in years not weeks, growing increasingly frustrated and angry. Guys… we know we can do better than this.