Taking the Bridge:
Every great Web 2.0 company starts with a feature, a core reason that an end user is going to use their site. This feature will be how they attract users and build their install base, but along the way every Web 2.0 company will have to Take the Bridge. They will have to leave their island and figure out how to monetize their users.
Crossing this bridge is difficult. Users don’t like to pay for services in this everything is free Online Economy. But if you offer a great product like say World of Warcraft you can make millions of dollars each month in subscription fees. Or you can use pop-ups and flash ads with sounds the way Photobucket does. You can even sell your user list to spammers, (pronounced Affiliates). But if you are going to make money you have to collect it from someone.
Some Web 2.0’s will just sit around hoping to get bought before they run out of venture capital. It can happen. YouTube was a great example of burning through capital like money grows on trees, and Google may be able to turn YouTube around and make money on it, but few companies will be that lucky, and the number of companies that can take that kind of risk are few and far between.