Er Digg døende?

Digg-Hi-Res-Logo

Digg.com er en af de ældre web 2.0 services, som i sin var med til at redefinere Internettet. På mange måder er det en rimelig simpel tjeneste, hvor brugerne kan dele links til artikler, og herefter stemme på dem.

Som så mange andre web 2.0 fænomener fik Digg en masse omtale, og grundlæggeren Kevin Rose, blev ofte fremhævet som en af de nye web guruer, og som det er sædvanen i diverse IT medier blev hans person dyrket, som var han en vaskeægte notabilitet.

Nu har Kevin Rose så forladt Digg, og brugerne forsvinder stille og roligt fra sitet. Man kunen fristes til at hævde, at de to ting ting hænger sammen, men det er nok svært at etablere et kausalforhold uden at lave en dybere analyse af emnet. Umiddelbart tror jeg at nettet er utaknemmeligt. Med dette mener jeg at det er “nemt” at lave det sidste nye (eg. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon etc.) men det er ligeså nemt at miste sin hypede status.

Mange af disse sites kan generere en hel masse trafik, som gør dem meget værdifulde, men hvis ikke de formår at fastholde brugerne, så forsvinder deres revenue samt deres valuation i forbindelse med et opkøb eller en IPO. En IPO er nok ikke det mest sandsynlige for Digg, men derimod kunne det godt være at Aol eller Yahoo ville snuppe sitet for en billig penge.

So what happened? In my view, Digg had a lot of things right. More than a million people loved its product– rabidly loved it. They loved it in a way we’d rarely seen until that point. Digg had top investors. And it had the vision part, too. Rose’s mission has played out. Digg helped transform how we consume media. While media properties balked at the idea in 2006, share buttons litter the Web today. We no longer rely on media gatekeepers for news. No one tells us what the front page should be– we create our own with the help of our friends.

Unfortunately Twitter is the one that’s pulled the bulk of his vision off, not Digg. It’s another example of what I’ve argued before– that it’s frequently not the company that comes up with something first that nails the execution. (And it might explain why Rose spends so much time on Twitter.)

The lesson from Digg is crucial as Silicon Valley’s ecosystem has made it easier and easier to start a company. It’s that a great product is necessary but not nearly enough. Building a real company is harder, and it takes execution and leadership. Things like a New York-based CEO and a sometimes-distracted co-founder took a toll on Digg in its most pivotal days. As I wrote in my book a year after that cover, startups reflect their founders’ personalities. Back then, Slide was characterized by silent intensity, Facebook was like a messy, pizza-stained dorm room, and Digg? Well, Digg’s offices were empty most evenings.

Sarah Lacy @ TechCrunch

 

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