The list of indignities we suffer online every day is significant. Our bank hits us up for a high-yield checking account ... while we're in our high-yield checking account. We have to navigate four levels deep at our favorite sites to get to what we want, every single day. Even when a site should know you, the experience is one size fits all, and frankly, dumb. The Web doesn't know you at all.
While most of us have been busy rebuilding our music collection yet again--at 99 cents a download--RealNetworks has been putting together the building blocks of the next revolution in music. Its Rhapsody subscription service offers unlimited access to a library of more than 4.5 million tracks for $13 to $15 a month. "There should never be a day when you don't have your music wherever you are," says Michael Bloom, Rhapsody's general manager.
What if people could borrow and lend money to each other without any banks in the middle? That's the idea behind two-year-old Prosper.com.
"What we're really trying to do is to create an eBay for money and credit," says chief executive Chris Larsen, who founded E-Loan in 1997 and then sold it in 2005. "This is just another step in the road of taking the power out of the hands of a small group of elites and putting it into the hands of everybody else."