In the March issue of Vanity Fair, writer Michael Wolff smartly assembles a “Next Big Thing for Dummies” list, a tongue-in-cheek service to readers wanting to profit from “what’s going on this year” or else simply to “hold [their] own at a cocktail party.”
Below are some of the highlights of the piece, with a little added commentary. Consider it a “Blog Post for Dummies Regarding Vanity Fair’s Next-Big-Things for Dummies Story.”
Among what, and who, you’ll need to know is:
1.) Russian billionaire Yuri Milner. Most peHUB readers already know Milner has poured tons of cash into two of today’s highest-flying social media companies, Facebook and Zynga. “[Milner] says he’s betting on personalities—Mark Zuckerberg, the C.E.O. of Facebook, and Mark Pincus, who heads Zynga—which is something investors often say: it’s all about talent and drive,” writes Wolff.
2.) The Platform Theory of Global Conquest, also known as Google’s Approach to Life. Writes Wolff about this, if “you can become a ubiquitous, octopus-like, hydra-headed, chameleon-ish, integrated horizontal and vertical database and command center, it could be years before a new technology challenges your dominance.”
3.) The Private and Public Platform Play, also known as Facebook. “Facebook has the opportunity to become the platform through which we search, not just public information but individual information, ever growing masses of it (including pictures),” writes Wolff, adding that “search moves from the Web into people’s lives.” (See why the Bloom is Off Kevin Rose at the moment.)
4.) Pundits, pundits and more pundits. Anyone wanting Web cred had better know that author Clay Shirky is a “man whose name is now uttered in technology circles with…[a] kind of [nearly unparalleled] reverence,” writes Wolff. Other names to throw around over vodka tonics: Jeff Jarvis, Wired’s Chris Anderson, and N.Y.U. professor Jay Rosen.
5.) The phrase “live Internet.” Here, see Twitter, Tweetdeck, etc. If it has “twit” or “tweet” in it, it is likely enjoying a skyward trajectory — and trying to figure out is revenue model.
For much more, including what Wolff says about Barry Diller, Nick Denton of Gawker, Rupert Murdoch and the five companies that control 85 percent of video viewing hours in the U.S., you can find the story here. Also worth checking out is a behind-the-story interview with Wolff, where he reports that Rupert Murdoch is deaf as a doorknob. “He can’t hear a damn thing, and nobody around him will admit it,” says Wolff.