I think we’re in a sad state of innovation on the web right now, and it’s been getting worse for years.
Most new tech products are derivative, uninspiring, solving nothing of any real value, and so on. The only thing they seem to get right is producing a fancy-looking marketing site that draws you in, only to fall short of their promises after you sign up and try the product.
Web3 promised to reinvigorate innovation on the web, but so far that’s stalled out and brought little of value either. Maybe AI will pick up where Web3 has fallen off? Who knows?
So what’s going on here? Why is it that I rarely see anything cool and substantive anymore?
There are a couple observable things going on:
- It’s way too easy to produce a tech product than ever before, leading to more products being produced, and more junk
- Because of that, there are so many products out there that even if you produce an innovative product, it’s generally much harder to get noticed than it was in the past
- Many aspiring entrepreneurs are building products in popular, already established markets, looking to pluck off a few customers to “get rich”
- Copying is easy, especially with so many frameworks and templates out there, and it’s human nature to take the easy path
- Slapping a nice looking UI on a solved problem, thinking that that’ll somehow be enough to grow a big business, is also easy
- Bad entrepreneurs think about the short-term, and not the long-term, so they just copy what’s easy to produce by looking at competitors in their market
I know this likely comes off as a grouchy old man rant, but I think it basically comes down to laziness, and the incentives that exist to allow for it.
You’re doing yourself a disservice as an entrepreneur if you’re not thinking about innovation and have a long-term strategy to build towards.
Even if you reach for something that’s innovative and miss, you’ll at least net out more positively than only working towards the status quo — you’ll end up learning something along the way.
You may build a $500k ARR business by being lazy, but you’ll eventually get bored and give up, and over time your revenue will start to dwindle as you haven't done anything to set yourself apart from the pack.
I hate to think that innovation on the web has peaked, but I’m not sure how we get out of the staleness in products these days.
What I’d like to see is more entrepreneurs take a swing for the fences and push to innovate, not just to create.