The writing's on the wall. Everywhere we turn we see behemoth services purchasing the latest intellectual properties in a high-risk attempt to cash in on what is popular at the moment. While some did succeed, like how Electronic Arts and Activision succeeded in capturing licensese that generate obscene annual profit, numerous companies made horrible investments along the way that never cash out.

Merger is an essential component for sustained big businesses. Even though reliance of simple businesses like provision of goods and services will keep these companies afloat for years, the only sure way for big profit is from absorption of new intellectual properties that provide new opportunities for the companies. Holding several unrelated products also provide the synergy required to synthesis new ideas and products that would further our lives.

Reality deviates from idealism of course. Synergies motivated by greed resulted in a much worse outcome than anyone would have hope. Instead of new ideas being generated, we are consistently greeted by an already successful product/form with minor alterations. In the gaming world, massive multiplayer role-playing games have basically stagnated since mid-2000s with everyone trying to reproduce the same models in hope of seizing the success World of Warcraft enjoyed. Things may look prettier now (e.g. Rift), created with different backstory and setting (e.g. Secret World, Star Wars Old Republic) or different business model (e.g. Free to Play games like Everquest 2 or non-subscription games like Guild Wars 2), but essentially games are pretty much the same theme-park model, with quest givers providing you with mundane chores like picking up some flowers or kill X number of boars. If only those tens of thousands of hours were actually spend on improving gaming ideas instead of chasing after the next World of Warcraft, we would have moved progress a lot more than we are right now.

I doubt anyone really expected the internet to be a cornerstone of our daily lives a decade ago. While we are definitely wasting a lot more time in front of the PC nowadays, the internet created a shrinking world with global connections. The rapid progression of our knowledge base is applaudable too, with us being in constant contacts with people from all over the world, conversing and making connections from those with sharing similar interest or learning from other's experiences and expertises.

Most internet services are profit-focused, and profiteering fundamentally relies on a foolish notion of doing the same-thing over and over again, while expecting the same consequences. So when everyone attempts to cash-grab on the same tried-and-tested model, a homogeneizing effect will most unfortunately resultedwith numerous services looking exactly the same as each other, and public getting more conservative - expecting for similar products instead of facing changes for intellectual progression.

So while the world is getting smaller, do we really need everything to be the same?

Anyway, here's is a rather beautifully article written on Athens News illustrating the danger of homogeneity, using Yahoo's acquisition and changes as case study - You can’t stand out if you’re trying to be like everyone else.