As open source takes hold — in the form of software, platforms and even the development environment itself — the ability to imitate will only increase. In such an environment, the only meaningful defense for Web 2.0 app developers and startups is their ability to build a community in large numbers. The data of a community is the only defense, and perhaps the only real value, in a Web 2.0 company. And unless they can achieve this quickly, many Web 2.0 apps/startups are going to meander into mediocrity, only to see their ideas inspire larger players to roll out their own versions of their apps.

Om Malik (via artistspaid) (via fred-wilson)