Start-up companies at the Web 2.0 Summit this week displayed confidence that the Internet has become a big enough home, with hundreds of millions of users, for many of their projects to find a market.

While skeptics question whether Silicon Valley is again on the brink of a bubble burst, veterans say they no longer question the fundamental strength of the Web -- even though the failure rate will still be high for new companies.

Executives of some of the world's largest corporations came not only to seek new opportunities, but to court approval from the Web elite. For one, AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson was keen to show it was rapidly moving into Internet services from its declining base of traditional telephony.

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