As John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins told Charlie Rose at Disrupt in May, we are now entering the third great wave of technology innovation – the age of social and mobile. Doerr is, of course, right. Barely a day goes without a reminder of this third wave – from Kleiner Perkins $250 million sFund to the increasing ubiquity of smartphones to the seemingly unstoppable rise of social businesses like Facebook, Zynga and Twitter.
There are few people who have thought as long and hard about the impact of this third wave on both the web and the world as Marc Davis, the former Chief Scientist at Yahoo! Mobile and now a Partner Architect at Microsoft. Davis’ core argument is that we are moving from what he calls a “web of pages” to a “web of people.” The web and the world are “becoming one,” Davis believes, thereby making this third wave one of the most significant cultural, political and social events of the early 21st century.
Social entrepreneurs should listen carefully to Marc Davis too. His vision of the economics of attention and trust reveal the emergence of a 21st century social economy that will be fundamentally different from the 20th century industrial economy. And, as Davis notes, much of the core infrastructure of this new social economy – such as a viable banking system for personal data – has yet to be built. So the entrepreneurial opportunities in this third wave are immense. Facebook, Zynga and Twitter are just the beginning. The best is yet to come.
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