Let me tell you a true story:
Late 1998, early 1999, I was talking to a friend about free email providers. He asked the question: "How come they can provide a service for free?".
And my answer was: "They can't. They are going to crash and burn". About 12 months later, the 1st Internet boom ended.
I see every sign we are due to repeat this crash and burn within 6 to 18 months, maybe earlier.
Companies to watch are Uber, Netflix, Meta (née Facebook). All of these are sitting on piles of debt.
I see Alphabet (née Google) and Apple getting out more or less OK, esp. since Apple is sitting on billions in cash.
Amazon will be very interesting to watch, since they have nothing but debt as well, but a somewhat solid business model. Will investors tire of financing Jeff B. trip to (near) space in his flying penis? That remains to be seen.
All of these (and the vast majority of stupid VC-financed "unicorns") can go to heck in a handbasket, as far as I am concerned.
You heard it first.
The kicker is, of course, that this will plunge the world in a deep recession.
Billions of US$ are going to be vaporized. Divest wisely.
I see Microsoft really suffering, since cheap Linux-based chromebook are going to eat the low end Windows market while the Mac will eat the high end. As far as I am concerned, they are slowly becoming legacy. The coming crash will precipitate that.
Finally, I also remember reading the Wired magazine on the "New Economy" (remember that one?) and thinking that was either a complete pile of manure or proof of my stupidity.
Because what they were talking about made absolutely no economic sense to me. And it never made sense.
I also remember reading about Linux for the first time a bit later. I was skeptical at first (a free UNIX-like OS? Really?), but I was soon convinced, to the point of downloading 35+ floppy disks to install on my laptop.
@ParadeGrotesque I can see Microsoft (or at least their employees) suffering but not disappearing - MS365 is deeply embedded in both public and private sector orgs worldwide. Amazon still has the retail division. What I do think can happen is the bottom falls out of Alphabet/adtech etc as the recession bites, and "fun/frivolour" uses of tech become less affordable whilst commercial business uses endure (although repurposing older ex-business hardware with FOSS will ofc still endure)
True, but there is a bunch of companies that will NEVER EVER go on O365.
When these companies or public sector realize they can get the same services with open source instead of paying the Microsoft Tax... There will be blood.
Amazon has been losing money on their retail sector from day one. It's part of their strategy. The only part of Amazon that makes money, as far as I know, is AWS. And a lot of people will NEVER EVER go AWS, etc.
@RyunoKi @ParadeGrotesque I've worked in Britain's public sector myself; they do use FOSS and Linux as well; but its also used as a bargaining chip to negotiate down Microsoft prices (such as with the NHS) sometimes FOSS wins, sometimes Redmond (in general UK govt websites mostly run on FOSS systems whereas the office PCs are on Windows). For "ordinary folk" a collapse of adtech in a recession could have a wider impact (even if psychological) >>
@RyunoKi @ParadeGrotesque even the Fediverse operates from the "crumbs of the table" of the big corporates; cheap hosting (fed by e-commerce and adtech?), talented young coders who have spare time away from their day jobs to keep Mastodon and others maintained - many Fedi instances are also quite resource intensive. Will all this endure during a long term economic recession? (I think the text based bits can, but pictures/media take up a lot of resources)
And by the way, I am perfectly fine with governments and corporations using open source as a bargaining chip against Microsoft.
I do not know ANY startup right now that uses Microsoft as a starting point for their infrastructure.
I am willing to bet a lot of large, established, companies will soon look at the potential savings of open source vs M$. Especially in a recession.
in England MS365 is often reluctantly adopted by medium size businesses as its cheaper and more versatile than on premises Windows Server boxes and tech skills of sysadmins have been lost over 20 years due to companies not hiring and training in the "good times" (most of these businesses don't even hire on site IT staff and outsource everything). Nextcloud could take some of this but needs to reach feature parity and have same level of support..
as an example; although you could get a managed Nextcloud instance from IONOS DE in 2018, its only *very* recently IONOS UK have offered this and they don't seem to be bothering to market it much (despite constantly trying to call me on the phone to upsell something else for a domain I bought) - its also unclear about the support levels/SLAs.
In 2016 I had to deploy an MS365 tenant for my current work; we tried FOSS alternatives but they didn't have the usability..
@kravietz @RyunoKi @ParadeGrotesque at work we use both Windows and Linux (depending on enduser skills/preferences and business requirements), but IT isn't the core part of the business and I am the sole full time IT staff member. At the time (2016) we needed "groupware", one FOSS app was partly in German (menus as well! and had 90s era UI); Owncloud/Nextcloud devs were arguing amongst themselves, and MS reliably delivered about 70% of requirements (today its 85% with Nextcloud maybe at 80%)
This does mean Nextcloud is closing the gap and becoming more feasible for SME usage; but at the same time I notice my German mutuals with selfhosted setups cursing it when they have to update things (and I trust them more than IONOS!) Also when MS365 does something cursed to the point it becomes fully unusable, you can actually speak to a real human (even in middle of the night UK time) and they usually manage to fix enough of it to get you working again..
@ParadeGrotesque Though a lot of big open source projects rely on corporate backing, so recessions could affect these. (Plus, open source that it done by individuals in their spare time presumably would be affected by those individuals potentially having less spare time to spend.)
@ParadeGrotesque I'm not worried about google or apple getting harmed by their "free" stuff because their "free" is just a way to get folks to pay OR provide info to be sold (ignoring moral questions)
It's the "free" without a viable business plan, companies that are a concern from a reliability standpoint.
@ParadeGrotesque re an earlier comment you made about hosting your own code repos.
I agree with the sentiment but I'm concerned by the history of blogs. People got bored, and stopped bothering to keep their site up. If that happens again with repos (seems probable) then we'd loose access to so many useful tools / libs that we didn't know we needed before they went away.
Take a look at the Gitea saga for a counterpoint.
Essentially @gitea has been held hostage by github. And they are preventing Gitea from migrating away from Github.
So the choice is: host your code on Github, and put yourself at risk, or self-host your code on your own server, using only [insert your favourite service here] for backup and visibility.
If you get bored, people can fork your code from the service in question.
(@aral has been posting about this as well)
@ParadeGrotesque While certainly frustrating, that feels like a long known, technical limitation of the platform rather than hostile action.
Also, if they switched to the GraphQL API instead of the REST api the number of requests required would likely be RADICALLY decreased. I've been doing a lot of work with their api lately. the REST api is stupid.
analogy: It's like complaining that you can't download faster than your ISP has available bandwidth for you, like... duh.
@ParadeGrotesque Here's how I see things happening.
1. Meta will flame out because social media is both generational and transient in its nature, and Meta doesn't actually have the runway to build the metaverse.
2. Netflix will either acquire a gaming publisher like Valve, merge with an entertainment conglomerate like Paramount, or be bought by Walmart
3. Google and Amazon will be absolutely fine because they're entrenched in everything
Tech will be fine.
@ParadeGrotesque Oh my holy fsck, I remember that... and myself thinking "That Gordon Gecko asshole is metastazing"
... But their bread and butter is still the "Microsoft Tax" they get from PC makers.
As well as Word, Excel, Visio for corporate environments.
@ParadeGrotesque Around 2004 or so (it must have been something like "Panther" or what they were calling it back then), I was somewhat fond of OSX, might even have had some hopes in it. That vanished rather quickly and I didn't have another look at it until a year or so ago, when someone close asked me if I could recommend an Apple Mac. I was quite shocked at how bad Apple sucks - I mean... weren't they quite famous for their intuitive, coherent GUI? Setting the standard for *cough* "HCI"?!
@ParadeGrotesque As long as that Apartheidboy fraud gets his flights financed, the penispaceships are on the safe side.
Tesla is gonna get bought by one of the big german carmakers very soon though. (That's probably the only reason why the german Tesla site was built).
@ParadeGrotesque Meta has "diversified" in various way (i.e. acquired a bunch of things, like WhatsApp). I suppose most of the revenue from these would be ad-related, which might be sustainable for them. They also have things in some places like WhatsApp Payments ( https://www.whatsapp.com/payments/in ) which presumably generates some revenue (no idea how much - but it at least aspires to the corporate dream of "every time anyone anywhere makes a transaction, we get a piece of it").
There is a strong movement already for deleting Facebook, as well as a growing realization their business model is fundamentally creepy and surveillance capitalism. I don't see that changing any time soon.
Don't misunderstand me: they may continue to exist for a while, but I see them going the way of MySpace.
@ParadeGrotesque No, certainly Facebook itself I think may face escalating loss of users issues. (Though I'm not so sanguine about it being because people are concerned about surveillance capitalism as other reasons.)
But presumably foreseeing this possibility is part of why they have expanded/acquired so much. (E.g. young people started quitting Facebook, but joining Instagram.) WhatsApp, Instagram, the VR stuff.
So I suppose the question is to what extent the umbrella corporation Meta will be affected.
Hence my prediction: they will crash and burn.
- VR is nice and all, but not as successful as it should be.
- WhatsApp and Instagram are unprofitable, and there is a lot of people switching to Signal away from WhatsApp, for instance.
Facebook is essentially selling ease of access to your friends and family, but that is not a long-term, viable, business model as far as I am concerned.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko