This article was published on November 10, 2008

8 Things I Hate About The Web

8 Things I Hate About The Web
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

We love the Web, we really do! But sometimes we need to complain a bit about stuff that goes wrong. Nothing big and nothing too important. Just a rant. We think the Web is too cheap, there are too many bugs, too many choices, too many browsers, too many search results, too many opinions, too slow and there are way too many passwords.

Don’t agree? Good! Here we go;

Too Cheap

“Everything should be free” is what users assume. And almost everything IS free online. That sucks. By not paying for anything it is very hard for services to make a living without polluting our screens with Ads. If they do show ads then people complain about cluttered screens and flee to another service that doesn’t show ads. You might argue that this is great for users and only a problem for the start-ups offering these services but that isn’t true. In the end you will be switching from service to service looking for a quick, and cheap, fix which will cost you time and money. If we could find a model where we would all simply pay a little for the great services we use the world would look different. On the iPhone a 1000 downloads of your App mean close to a $700 of revenue. On the web, a 1000 loyal users, mean nothing. 100.000? Forget it. A million loyal members? A good start! Remember: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. How much longer will it take until we will have a healthy online economy for start-ups?

Too Many Bugs

I am paralyzed by a constant feeling of anxiety while I work online. Any moment now my browser can quit unexpectedly and take all my windows with it. Right now I’m staring at 3 different browser windows with between 5 and 15 tabs per window. I have no idea what I have where. there might be a few drafts, half completed forms and search results waiting for me to stroll through. But any moment now the whole thing could collapse. How hard is it exactly to build a browser that works? All it has to do is display HTML, right? Even Firefox crashes so often it has its own helper application to report the reason for the error to Firefox. The fact that I know that application says enough.

Too Many Choices

I’m trying to find out what CRM system I should use but there are just too many of them! Because none of them have a really large market share (or maybe they do?) anyone of them could fold tomorrow when their funding runs out. Which one is the safe and smart bet? I have no idea. With all the experimentation going on there is just too much to deal with and to choose from.

Too Many Browsers

Our site looks good in almost every browser we could test including the iPhone and Blackberry. Any idea how long it took to get it that way? And how much we had to sacrifice? A whole lot more time goes into making sites browser compatible than into the actual design. Enough already! more browsers? Fine! But at least make them standards compatible so we can just design instead of tweak and tweak to make everything just work.

Too Many Search Results

Google indexes too much! I don’t want 4 billion search results! I want a few and I want them to be right. Enough already with the billions. Ignore those and concentrate on what is important.

Too Many Opinions

Opinions are just like assholes, everybody’s got one. On the web, we can all show ours to everyone. I love a thoughtful comment now and then but the Web seems to bring out every weasel out there who needs to voice their opinion on anything and everything. Sometimes it really is better to just shut up. Really.

Too Slow

Yeah, I can get a 100mbit pipe to my home. It will be hugely expensive and everything coming from the other side of the ocean will STILL take seconds to load. Why do Youtube movies still stutter? Why does my server go down if we reach the frontpage of Digg? Why isn’t BitTorrent built into all ISPs so that if a website is popular it actually gets faster? I want more Internet and I want it faster!

Too Many Passwords

Now before you all start commenting “OpenID”: Yes I know OpenID is the supposed answer to everything but it isn’t here yet and that is my complaint! Why the hell isn’t it implemented everywhere yet? We are all too lazy, dumb and busy to invent a secure but memorable password for every damn service we want to try out. You end up using “qwertyuiop” or “12345678” as a password everywhere just because you can remember it and it is easy to type on your iPhone and Blackberry. Very convenient! At least until someone takes the trouble to login to your Gmail account and steals your domainname and screws up your reasons for existence.

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