The Anti-Spam Company Conflict

from the where's-the-incentive dept

You always have to wonder about businesses that are based on the premise that, if they’re really successfully in what they do, you won’t need them any more. That’s certainly the case with anti-spam companies, who are apparently making pretty good money these days. While I’m sure that the vast majority of them do mean well, and plenty of their tools work very well in stamping out spam – you do have to wonder about their incentives to really stop spam. If spam were stopped, then these companies wouldn’t have much of a reason for being in business any more. In other words, the more successful they are, the less successful they will be. That’s a tough business proposition for any company.

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Comments on “The Anti-Spam Company Conflict”

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Three Men In A Boat says:

This is not new

… the more successful they are, the less successful they will be.

This is also the case in many other businesses… doctors and car mechanics, for example. So this isn’t really new, and people, as consumers, are either aware of this or not.

In a free market system, consumers have a choice about which vendor to use, and it’s up to them to be aware that they have a choice.

Also, just like doctors and car mechanics, fixing one problem doesn’t fix all problems. The spammers are crafty and are constantly tuning their “product”. The anti-spammers then have to be craftier in response.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: This is not new

I never said it was new, but I do think it’s quite different than doctors or car mechanics. Both those businesses are based on fixing things that break down, on the knowledge that older systems simply do breakdown.

Spam is a problem that, if it’s successfully blocked, the incentive for spamming goes away, and the problem goes away.

Beck says:

No Subject Given

Other companies that work under that business proposition manage to survive. Take for example the companies that make immunization drugs.

These new anti-spam companies will likely diversify their product lines once the market for their product matures.

Let’s just hope they don’t take after the volunteer firefighter who drummed up business for his department.

Chris says:

Most do not try to solve the root problem

Most anti-spam companies (by this I assume you mean companies that provide ant spam services) are not attempting to solve the spam problem by eliminating the spammers, or change the technology to reduce the ability to spam, or even to influence legislation cracking down on spammers. All that anti spam companies do is try to stem the tide at the recieving end.
So if there is a change in the future that reduces or eliminates the ability of spammers to carry out their work (not likely in the sort term) perhaps the anti-spam companies will be in trouble.
But really this is no different from other computer technologies. Look at the compainies that did CD burning. Or companies that did scanning of images or any number of other techniologies that were onces expensive and difficult but is now cheap/commonplace.

Precision Blogger (user link) says:

The March of Dimes had a Similar Problem

The March of Dimes charity originally focused on obliterating Polio. When that actually happened (the Salk vaccine was developed in 1955), they scrambled to re-purpose the charity (of course they didn’t use the awful word “re-purpose” in those days), to avoid becoming pointless.

– The Precision Blogger

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