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> New technologies emerge to form a new Internet
emerge to form a new Internet generation
By Evelyn de Souza
April 24, 2002
The online advertising industry and advertising
supported companies have been particularly h ard
hit over the last eighteen months. Companies have
shut down or consolidated as advertising prices
have plummeted. There is more page inventory than
advertisers want to purchase and the end result
is that we b sites are often forced to reduce
prices and show unpaid house ads.
So, is that it? Does it all stop here, or is
there something that has come out from all of
this? In the wake of the fire that burned down
the forest of Internet companies, new technologies
have emerged. Are they the green shoots of a new
generation of the Internet? A good area to examine
is the Internet advertising sector.
The first two generations
The Internet appears to have cycled through three
generations. The first generation was in a non-commercial
world, full of academics and experts. They shared
information and produced content but did not charge
for it. In the mid 1990s a new second generation
Internet was born. The second-generation Internet
became caught up in the unsightly gold rush. This
generation of the Internet was characterized by
many second-rate technologies, thrown t ogether
merely to attract VC financing. Thousands of workers,
including many from India moved to Silicon Valley
and other technology centers in the US to build
them. Companies spent money on parties, PR, and
marketing to inform the world about their mediocre
technologies, in the hope of getting big fast.
However as we all know, the forest of advertising
or ad supported dot coms burned, and one b y one
they fell: All Advantage, Quokka Sports, March
First, and many more. Ad-supported companies were
the first to be affected. They consolidated, closed,
or changed their business models.
A new Internet generation?
It might be expected that the advertising sector,
the first Internet sector to be hit, would show
the initial signs of recovery and growth. Theoretically,
this new breed of companies, perhaps the third
generation of the Internet wou ld be a more savvy,
cost conscious and realistic Internet generation.
Entrepreneurs would focus on the actual technologies,
and not dream of billion dollar IPOs. Companies
would build excellent technologies for demanding
customers. Throwing up a web site to sell pet
food would be considered a thing of the past.
ZEDO, Inc. from San Francisco seems to embody
this type of new technology company. The company
serves advertising images on web sites. It is
similar to a content delivery technology, but
they deliver ads for content sites. Interestingly,
they are small, but yet have achieved so much.
ZEDO employs less than 30 people in just two development
offices, yet serves billions of ads a month. Their
focus is on ground-breaking, highly scalable technologies,
which their customers want and are willing to
pay for now. Perhaps, that is what it takes to
be a player in this emerging Internet generation:
be focus ed on technology and build only what
your customer will pay for today!
"ZEDO technology is both a solid, scalable infrastructure
and an architecture that is flexib le enough to
offer the new features that discerning customers
want," said Alfredo Botelho, Chief Technology
Officer of ZEDO. "We did not have access to unlimited
funds as start-ups once did, so this motivated
us to bu ild what customers were willing to pay
for ... Our ad serving technology has been built
to last the pace of the growing Internet wit hout
requiring huge resources".
What do the leaders of the second generation,
dot com world think of these companies?
"ZEDO delivers exactly what Internet advertisers
and publishers need today -- a scalable ad management
system that delivers superior performance at an
order-of-magnitude lower cost, enabling it to
deliver value to customers while building a profitable
and sustainable business." said Larry Braitman,
co-founder of Flycast Communications, and an expert
on the ad-supported Internet sector.
The ubiquity of the Internet and prevalence of
e-Business and online content is shaping the next
generation of the Internet. The ultimate goal:
a customer-centric environment. This is what the
third generation of the Internet is about. Small
technology companies with economical, fast, and
streamlined solutions for their custom ers will
thrive in the new Internet. Glamorous? Maybe not.
But, it is shaping the future of the e-Business
and content worlds.