brotherhood_of_LAN - 4:02 pm on Jan 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'm not much of a [insert any company here] basher, including Google, but I feel that the days where you could hit #1 for really competitive terms on top search engines without hordes of money were what motivated a lot of independent webmasters who have always been thecore of this community. It seems harder now though I'm sure the smart SEOs amongst us are still very effective.
I think wikipedia would have had a tangible effect on demotivating people from writing content or creating a new site.
It can be demotivating that there are indeed people who will work overnight to achieve the same things as you, but better and quicker. There are also people who will work for a fraction of the reward you want.
I could go on but it might cause someone to give up .... ;o)