Mind to Market

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Future of the Web

BusinessWeek has run a special report on the future of the web in their April 9 issue and seems to be pointing the direction of the Semantic Web technologies. As an example, BW sights the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly as an early adopter of SW technologies for use in drug development. In an attempt to slash a third of the cost off the development of a new drug, they are implementing SW technologies to better manage their data.

Tim O'Reilly is quoted as saying "Web 2.0 is the messy way that the Semantic Web is actually happening." Messy in the fact that it's a bottom-up folksonomy rather than the top-down ontology driven structure required by SW specifications.

Does this exposure in BW mean SW is ready for prime time? "I'm still trying to figure out what Web 2.0 is" remarked one VC at last night's MIT Enterprise Forum in Boulder. But while the entrepreneurs try to sort out the business model, Lilly's IT department goes it alone, "There aren't a lot of people we can turn to with experience." Seems like there's got to be a business model in saving a pharmaceutical company $400 million off the cost of developing one drug.

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