Update 2: The post-event analysis is up and readable here.
Update: I found Professor Ramesh Jain from UC Irvine, CA, who might be attending this event too as a presenter of his startup, Event Web. Check out Ramesh Jain’s blog. More on his startup idea here (no website available, it seems). More on the man here.
This event, held Jan 10, will launch an initiative to launch Web 3.0 in Singapore. Frankly, I don;t know how we skipped the evolution cycle because Web 2.0 did not even start in Singapore’s IT and media industries. More on this event at SGEntrepreneurs. I cannot find the actual event site. Looks like this Web3.0 event launch is neither search optimized nor browsable on the website of MDA, the lead agency spearheading this effort. tsk tsk..
And I left a comment on the SGE site which i will reproduce here, in an edited version. As a disclaimer, I am not yet an active practitioner nor entrepreneur in the web industry. But I think I have the right to at least air my opinion on this issue. I am passionate about the Web industry and bullish about the internet medium on business and society and am willing to support any initiative that will propagate its growth. I take issue with the manner of the latest launch by MDA and its affiliated agencies and just prefer to make my thoughts heard in the hope that it lands in the right hands/ ears and we do this initiative right.
“there’s no such thing called “web 3.0” yet. i am attending this event to see just how the govt defines web 2.0 before we attempt to jump the whole world and create this fictitious web 3.0. Even the website of the event is a joke. its so web 1.0 and they still use antiquated terms of no relevance to the subject matter.
This event almost looks like another initiative by some harried civil servant who pulled together a bunch of kakis from the other ministries to show the whole world they are all collectively putting effort in doing something that meets their KPI/ ROI/ whatever. Yes, a bureaucratic kneejerk reaction is what this looks like.
I rant alot here, i know, but the way the government is trying to launch this fund shows they are simply out of touch in trying to understand what really matters in trying to spur innovation here. those who will create any web3.0 already exist. And i think none of these people are inspired enough by the promise of what this web 3.0 can do to them. I might be jumping the gun before i even attend this event but i will seek to offer some suggestions to improve as as an event precursor.
For starters, dun get government to push it. Get industry leaders, academics, foreign thought leaders from technological hubs in israel, silicon valley to speak at fund launches like this. If the govt has 500 million to spend eventually, they can spend a few million trying to do this right for once by flying the right people down to Singapore to launch this. Get any warm body the innovators, the engineers, the entrepreneurs, will respect, NOT govt officials. Unless this is an internal fund for only civil servants to create startups, no one in the audience is going to listen to some civil servants step up that podium and subsequently gladly oblige to follow the commands. Singapore’s culture may be paternalistic but all kids grow up eventually.
I don;t know whether this fund’s creators actually pondered the root to the lack of innovation here which is why we have no notable web 2.0 enterprises of note. The real problem is the engineers and comp science students in singapore flocking to the more financially stable industries of Finance and Banking. Without real efforts put into university admin and policies that effectively overcome the sociological and psychological bias of our nation’s brightest engineers against non-financial careers, this initiative is dead in the water before it starts. This is the real brain drain a fictional Web 3.0 industry in Singapore will face. And this is a chronic cancer no cure seems imminent at present. We need to make this industry more glamorous and credible. Which does not mean more lame advertising campaigns depicting the computing industry as sexy or anything. It means putting more money into the promising startups we already have, helping them hire good talent from local and especially overseas etc…
More importantly, we need to inspire and fertilize the ground which grows those entrepreneurs, ie. the schools. We need to find what ever minor successes we have in the current generation of web entrepreneurs we have in Singapore and cultivate them as role models through the media. Talk about their struggles, their successes and the route they took to success so others can take note and support can be rallied from society and the industry. Influencing the public is key here anda successful push in the Web industry will help greatly in expanding career options to students in the educational institutions in polys ITEs, and the unis.
THe only web “successes” we have so far is? I might be ignorant but only HArdwarezone.com came to mind and they were bought for a paltry SG$7 million. how is that going to inspire any potential local web3.0 entrepreneur to start up? I think this is a question begging to be asked. 500 million from the govt coffers might be huge, but it will not displace the importance nor influence of the VC industry which will be begging to ask whether any future valuations of startups in this region deserve funding after the HWZ precedent.”
Follow-up: For those frustrated with the development of Singapore’s web industry, help it grow at the BarCamp SG event on Jan 20.