The Noise and the Fog

When your online, most of the web of today kinda looks like a noisy market. How much are we contributing for this noise and fog?


Regarding a question about an ongoing Entrepreneurial Revolution, Eric Ries mentioned in an interview for TNW at Techcrunch Disrupt that Entrepreneurship is not cool: it's hard and difficult. He also goes on to say that everyone in this current startup ecosystem should be asking this: Are the organizations I'm investing my time (...) value creating or are they fundamentally part of the noise machine?.

This stroke me as a really valuable insight nowadays. First because of it's author. Coming from one of the nominated for Best Young Entrepreneur of Tech by BusinessWeek that is a strong lesson to be missed. Secondly, although the web has evolved into a DIY content form long ago (since it's 2.0 form) there was really never an idea on where all of this was going and therefore there are really no rules on how everything is going to evolve. The noise is therefore immense.

The noise

When you're online, most of the web of today kinda looks like a noisy market. Just connect yourself to Facebook or Twitter using your (insert favorite web device here), and either actively of passively you're going to end up trying a new web or mobile app be and flooded with new information.

It might be that you consider yourself an early adopter (like me) that actively searches for new apps to try or that (kinda like my mother) you’ve simply received an email invitation for a new social network. Bottom-line, todays web is much like television: you get the content that you want to see but you also get a lot of other things that are actually none of your interest. At least on a first stage.

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The fog

Take a look at what happened with Color. An once promising startup who raised not only 41 million in VC but also a tremendous PR storm upon reaching all the right media before it's official launch. Sure enough 41M can help that but it seems that it wasn't the napping tents or the half-pipe skateboard ramps in the Palo Alto office that worked in the end. A New York Times article compared Color’s launch to a $41 million party to which nobody came.

Bill Nguyen, Color App, at their Color offices in Palo Alto, California.

This might just be one of those drastic examples of what the excess of information and overall offer can do to startups. It creates this massive fog around each other that just doesn't allow us to predict whether their products are really needed or appreciated.

Maybe it is that the time wasn't right (article about color’s failure) or that competition already had the answer (think instagram).

Still is it designing for the masses still the best option for upcoming tech adventures like most of these startups? How much are we contributing for the noise & the fog?


Not everyone or every company can have access to social behavior specialists and business advisors all the time. When launching a Startup with little or no funding, gut feeling is probably your most important resource.

Still, with whatever resources you have, we need to resist to follow the herd and not just build the same things over and over. Unless you have a strong grasp of what can be achieved with what you’re creating right now (even if pure field experience), you should keep on researching and experimenting.

Keep Looking. Don’t Settle. — Steve Jobs