One of the points I've made repeatedly about Web 2.0 is that it is
the design of systems that get better the more people use them
, and that over time, such systems have a natural tendency towards monopoly.
And so we've grown used to a world with one dominant search engine, one dominant online encyclopedia, one dominant online retailer, one dominant auction site, one dominant online classified site, and we've been readying ourselves for one dominant social network.
A few months ago, I was talking to my friend H. about Web 2.0
We use to talk about startups a lot, but he decided to go to do an MBA in HK instead. So he is kind of missing on the new Web 2.0 hype-engine.
I was trying to describe to him A/B Testing and used Google as an example. He asked, "That's it? So why can't we replicate what Google does for UI design?"
I didn't even have to think about it to give him the answer, "Because Google is more disciplined. They have a willingness to follow their methods and apply it everywhere to a degree no other company can match."
Hell, look at Microsoft or Yahoo. They have money, talent, and drive. Why can't they make something a fraction as good as gmail? And I am a paying Yahoo Premium customer. I'll bet Yahoo makes more money than Google on webmail — right now. But they probably won't for long.