That question is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one contrasting excerpt:
When I hear laypersons discuss the future of the internet, the most common question is what kind of company or service is coming next…
When I hear internet entrepreneurs discuss the future, the biggest question is what kind of decentralized service or platform might be next.
Another vertigo-inducing vision of the future can be glimpsed at zora.co. If you are initially baffled — join the club! Think of Zora as like Spotify, except for more than just music, and the creators keep the rights and sell at prices they decide. It attempts to be an open-source ecosystem for building the future of art.
Having grown up in an analog world, I find these ambitious visions both unsurprising and bewildering. On one hand, I have seen the transition of so much activity to the digital world that another major revolution should not shock me. On the other hand, (a possibly atavistic) part of me likes knowing that someone or something is in control, whether it’s a government, a bunch of people in Mountain View, or even just my dean.