Final yr, a woefully mistaken tech pundit predicted we might see wholesome options to at this time’s social media giants crop up in startup-land.
Truly, that was me. In a 2018 forecast piece revealed roughly a yr in the past, I opined that:
“Digital know-how is roughly in the identical state as 1970s cooking. Sure, we’ve made it handy, simple on the palate, and inexpensive to the plenty. But very similar to TV dinners and Twinkies, there’s one thing concerning the trendy state of smartphone habit, Fb scrolling, and Netflix binging that makes us really feel there’s a value to comfort.”
The above nonetheless holds true a yr later. But, for some motive, I believed there is perhaps a surge in startups selling more healthy use of know-how rising out of the broader backlash. In that respect, I used to be both untimely or plain flawed.
No less than for now, the wholesome different to Fb and Twitter continues to be no Fb and no Twitter. If not that, then a minimum of closely decreased scrolling time. Go for a stroll. Speak to a different human face-to-face. Eat greens. Cease your cellphone.
To be honest, there was a little bit of funding for corporations selling wholesome use of digital media. As an illustration meditation app Calm closed a $27 million Sequence A spherical this summer season, one in every of a variety of mindfulness-focused startups to secure funding up to now couple years.
Media corporations involved with privateness have been getting funded as effectively. As an illustration, to date this yr, a minimum of 65 messaging, communications or media corporations that embrace “non-public” or “privateness” within the enterprise descriptions in of their Crunchbase profiles have raised funding rounds of $1 million or extra. Nevertheless, that’s really down a bit from 2017, with simply over 70 funded corporations becoming the identical standards.
It appears the notion that one trade participant’s loss interprets into one other’s achieve additionally doesn’t all the time work out in observe. Take Fb, whose well-publicized troubles this previous yr have taken its inventory down almost 40 p.c from its 52-week highs, shedding almost $220 billion (!) in market cap since July.
A glass-half-full form of startup particular person may think that a few of that diminishing market cap would create a gap for others within the social media sector to scale and doubtlessly even draw investments from disgruntled former Fb backers.
However what’s occurred since, it appears the glass half empty sorts received it proper. It seems that valuation is gone. And, similar to the air in a popped bubble, it can’t be recaptured.
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