BitRebels created this interesting infographic about the rise and fall of online empires, but it left me a bit wondering. Wondering why they think that an online empire can last only for 11 years and why Google is not mentioned there.
Of course, we could say that Google comandeered the creation of this infographic, but that would mean that we are a bit off. What strikes me is the fact that Yahoo and AOL still exist and they are almost well, thank you. AOL is more than 20 years old and Yahoo 16 years old. They might have faded, but that didn’t stopped AOL from buying TechCrunch with a “meager” $40mln.
The history of Digg should be a lesson for all: if something works, don’t tinker with it. After Digg did a massive redesign without taking to much into account what the users wanted, it had died off. The diggers had gone to other social networks. I would like to see how would Reddit fare in about 5 or 10 years from now.
A good read for each one of us should be The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, by Tim Wu. An excellent book that explains how such an empire is built, how it evolves promising idealistic goals and then how it dies off because it won’t want to adapt to the new times they’re in.