Archive for July, 2006

Web 2.0; Free Stuff; initial thoughts.

July 5, 2006

ARCast – Web 2.0 and the Edge with Mike Platt (Part 1)

Just listened to this and found it defined some really interesting ideas with regards to the buzzword ‘web 2.0’ but also the evolution of business models in tech.

Mike Platt keeps using the phrase ‘the vast majority’ when talking about the concept of:

you don’t have to worry about a heap of people using your software or service for free, becuase you even if you just charge a smaller number who do use and pay, you’ll make buckets of cash (because there’s such a large base of people on the Internet to use your service in the first place).

The above isn’t really a quote its more like my paraphrase of the argument. Anywayz I really clicked with this idea, but thought the phrase ‘vast minority’ might be more appropriate as it sums up the fact that (I would expect) the majority  of people won’t pay for a free/shareware service but that a minority on the web can still be ‘vast’ enough to happily support what your trying to produce/achieve.

Examples quoted were Google Maps; Flickr (photobucket equivelent etc).

This metaphor is similar to the idea of ‘offshoring’ software development work from the following perspective:

The idea is that the the economies of 3rd world labour are so great (ie they’re labor wages are so skewed), that even if we have to pay throught the nose to adapt the software back to our local culture it will still be worth it.

By the way please don’t think I have any problem with the globalisation of work to India or other countries, I realise the above statement makes loads of assumptions that might not be true. I was using it only for illustrative purposes :-).

I guess to bring the pattern back to the start point, eventually, companies in the web 2.0 space may have to charge everybody in order to recoup their costs in an increasingly competitive space (ie they are being asked to provide more and more for free because, everybody else is providing just a little bit less for free). However as the market for free stuff has been allowed to grow without satisfaction in the absence of web 2.0 (once again open for debate 😉 <lol> we have a ways to go b4 we get there.

That’s just my thoughts. I’m following the mantra that if you read/listen everyday you should write/speak/podcast everyday (otherwise where is the value add in listening/reading).

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