Making Money of the Internet – The Economics of Child-like Simplicity

The internet was born in the 90’s, at the time of the bubble, when investors in the US were pouring money into any start-up in the Silicon Valley which owned a website with even the remote capability of earning revenue. As the bubble began to burst, the brutal truth began to dawn on investors. Making a website did not take a genius. All it required was a programmer, and a host server. The only people however who were adept in programming were nerds graduating from Ivy League colleges (or their equivalent).

Today, one would say that more than a billion people in the world are hooked onto the internet. However, of these billion, the internet is made up of only a few people who “create a trend” and many others who “follow this trend”. Why is this ? Because to sift through millions of websites, in order to identify what is “hip”, is not a task for someone who already has several tasks assigned to them. Therefore, most of us resort to using those websites which people around us are using. Facebook, Wikipedia, Quora, Twitter and of course, the top results on Google’s search engine. But Google’s search engine merely follows links to determine the most featured site which contains the words you searched for. And the most featured site is that which has the most number of links back to itself. How are these links created ? They are created by people who have time to post links on forum threads, blog comments, etc.

If you had to look back to the time in your life when you had the most time, you would probably look back to your childhood, maybe your college days, or the initial years of your working life. Or if you are old, you would say “Now. When I am retired !” . Unfortunately, old people were old at the time of the bubble. Therefore for a website to become popular, it is essential that it identifies itself people such as average american high school kid with a computer to spare or the college goer who wants to explore his options. And therefore, all the popular websites either intentionally or through a systemic process of natural selection, have incorporated in their philosophy a child’s love of curiosity, self-worth, gossip and an awe for the world around. Can the pot of gold thus be hidden within the mother’s womb ?

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