This is ironic since the internet reduced the barriers to entry, costs of entry, and created new distribution channels. However, that was only the beginning of the market cycle. You know how they say that everything operates in cycles? Same principle here.
It's similar to the years leading up to the turn of the 20th century in America. The West was being populated, the gold rush was happening, and a window of opportunity rose up from the expansion into the West. Lots of people got rich and lots of other people lost everything. However, as the West became saturated and things got settled down, it became harder for anyone to strike it rich by going out West either by starting fresh or looting gold. A few years later and it became impossible for the average joe to go from zero to hero on their own. Same thing is happening here.
1990-2000 - Internet Gold Rush. People flock to the new technology and innovation. Dot Com bubble expands. Lots of people get rich as ****.
2000-2010 - Wild Wild West. Dot Com bubble bursts. No rules, no regs, low cost of entry, low everything. People make money but everything starts getting saturated and fewer and fewer people strike it rich. Those that get rich here start larger companies, grab larger market shares, and expand their control and influence.
2010-2020 Big Business. Similar to the Industrial Age, only the established will make money as conglomerates form, Big Business takes hold, and the small internet business owners are consumed by the Leviathans...similar to what has been happening offline over the past century. Eventually, it becomes impossible for the average joe to start an online business, or any business, since only the top dogs are left with complete control over their market shares. New technology will also raise the barriers and costs of entry so that it will cost as much to start an online business as it does a brick and mortar one does.
What this means to us? You better make your business work now, because if you don't, you'll be left behind. If you have made your business work, then you better be planning to expand into a larger company or conglomerate. The idea of being this solopreneur who quietly makes a fortune is dying. Soon, you will either be part of the new economy owning a medium-large company, or you will be working for one.
What do you think? I have more, but this isn't an article, it's a (hopefully) discussion.
P.S. A lot of the responses have shown that people either didn't understand what this thread is about...or they didn't read the OP here. Please read the thread and think about the concepts here before chiming in.