The go-go mid-90s were about technology - thats where all the invesment and the talent went. As Doug Rushkoff pointed out, the 90s were the equivalent of the RCA era when TV was first invented - Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, etc laid the technical foundation. Today, its the CBS era - the money and the talent are moving to creating compelling content and user experiences.
September 2002 editorial in the Red Herring suggests that technology companies should go on the offensive:
"...Rather than fight the likes of Disney and News Corporation on Capitol Hill, technology companies ought to treat them as business threats--defeat them with innovative technologies that will attract the talent necessary to produce compelling content.
There is no law dictating that Hollywood control entertainment in perpetuity. File-sharing understudies like Kazaa, Morpheus, and Gnutella--and large players like Apple Computer, Microsoft, and RealNetworks--have an opportunity to develop a robust alternative to existing content-creation and distribution systems. A first step: abandon proprietary file formats in favor of a common format, like MPEG-4, to deliver music and film on the Internet. Such a standard would spur the development of new products for the creation, distribution, and, ultimately, enjoyment of content.
Actors, filmmakers, and musicians would be attracted to a technology platform that offers greater flexibility, control, and chance for profit than Hollywood.
It's not far-fetched to imagine a new class of studios in places like Boston, northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, or Austin, Texas. For instance, Napster could have aspired to be a studio--instead of a transmitter of Hollywood content. Napster had millions of customers, and it could have used that reach to promote the kind of new talent that currently makes some independent films and music labels successful.
The entertainment world is too big to confine to one stage. Innovation must not abide Hollywood's tradition of brutalizing would-be stars.