The early promise of web-based application service providers seems to be coming to fruition. Not only that, many of the most useful applications (like Gmail) are free. Evan Williams, creator of Blogger (and now at startup Odeo.com), talks here about running your company on web apps. As he says, “One interesting thing about starting a company today versus a few years ago: Lots of cool web apps are now available that you can more or less run you company on.” He rattles off a short list of online software they use and then continues, “The improved efficiency of having these apps available, and not having to install and maintain servers for them is huge.” Williams is certainly an early adopter in an immature field, but there’s no question which way the wind is blowing. Salesforce.com is damaging PeopleSoft (er… I mean Oracle), because you can just hire sales people and not worry about hiring IT staff. Fewer IT staff means fewer ferrets in the bag when you’re trying to move quickly. Companies in the future will come and go like foam on the waves, because everything, aside from the actual innovative force driving the enterprise, will be virtualized and outsourced. Barriers are dropping and boundaries are blurring.