Monday, November 01, 2004

May the best services win

In "Ubiquity in the Internet Age", Jeremy Zawodny argues that ease of distribution and free flow of information on the internet leads to three keys for success:
  • A great product
  • Web services for the community to build on that product
  • Revenue sharing
The idea seems to be to build grassroots distribution and viral marketing through revenue sharing and spur innovation through web services.

He holds up Amazon, Google, and eBay as positive examples of companies using this strategy. Amazon certainly has benefited from its affiliates program (revenue sharing) and has extensive web services, many of which are publicly exposed. Most of Google's advertising growth does come from AdSense (revenue sharing), but Google's web services are limited and probably have no substantial impact on their business at this point. eBay's seller tools do have a huge impact on their business, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to call those web services, especially since eBay is well known for prohibiting outside access to its searches and catalog.

But Jeremy's article is more about the future than the past. I think he's right that web services and revenue sharing can create rapid growth and innovation. It'd be great to see more web services and revenue sharing from Yahoo.

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