Could 2008 be the Year to Return to Substance?
What could possibly be the case for this return to substance this year:
-The "cleantech" hype curve has peaked: Lots of people -- no longer just us at Roeder-Johnson -- have started talking about the fact that we have now passed the top of the "hype curve" relating to "cleantech". This means that a "cleantech" company can no longer get attention just because of its mere existence. It actually has to have something special (and by the way, the bar is even a bit higher than that). So could this trend demanding substance leak over to other areas of technology?
-"It's the economy, stupid" (please don't take offense, this is just quoting someone else): You don't need us to tell you that the U.S. economy is under pressure. The gleeful exuberance that any new idea can be successful is likely to be brought into question. And new companies and ideas are going to have to prove themselves quickly in this environment.
-"How do you spell relief: GigaOm": In an earlier post, I cited Om Malik's new, added focus on infrastructure, the underpinnings of technology, and their implications. While maybe this is smoking something, Om's decision to do this is also a sign that substance matters as we move into the new year.
There are undoubtedly more arguments in favor of the hope that we are moving toward substance in technology communications.
But when I shared this idea of a return to substance with my partner, he scoffed. Not because of some clear trend in technology or the economy. He simply said: "How can 2008 be a return to substance? It's a Presidential election year."
I fear my partner might be right -- but maybe we can use his point to build the case for a return to substance: as a response to the fluff and puffery of presidential politics, we will see technology demand more substance and not just hype.
Well, we can always hope. . .