by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jul 14th 2008 12:56pm
by Timothy Lee
Fri, May 23rd 2008 1:45am
from the content-comes-first dept
ReadWriteWeb has an article claiming that the way to beat Google is by having a better ad platform (via Matt Asay). It says that "the company that can corner the mobile web ad market is going to be able to go toe-to-toe with Google." This is getting things completely backwards. Google doesn't dominate the search engine market because it has the best advertising platform. It dominates the advertising market because it has the best search platform. Other companies, such as AOL, that have seen themselves as an advertising company first and a content/applications company second have gone nowhere. This is especially true because the best advertising platforms are tightly integrated with their associated applications. One of the reasons Google's search advertising is so lucrative is that Google figured out how to make its ads highly relevant to users' search terms. This had two benefits. It increased click-through rates, obviously, but more importantly, it made the ads more useful -- and therefore less annoying -- to users. The same principle applies to the mobile space. Mobile advertising will only work if companies figure out how to make the overall user experience positive so that the ads don't scare users away. The way to do that is not to focus on building the best possible mobile ad platform, but rather to build the best possible mobile services, and worry about monetizing them after they've built up a significant user base.
by Timothy Lee
Tue, Feb 26th 2008 3:26am
from the open-for-licensing dept
Requiring third party developers to license access to the platform both increases the red tape required to enter the market for Chumby applications and reduces the potential profits from doing so. Potential third-party developers are going to think twice about betting on a platform whose owner may demand a bigger cut in the future. Obviously, there needs to be a way to recoup their investments on the Chumby platform. But if the Chumby becomes a hit, there will be all sorts of ways to monetize that success. Most obviously, the company can raise the price of the Chumby, or sell premium Chumbies with extra functionality. It can install its own applications by default and sell ads with those. It can sell accessories, or create a certification program for accessories like Apple's "Made for iPod" program. It can offer seminars and consulting services to people wanting to develop Chumby applications. It's never difficult to monetize a successful platform -- especially when you're selling the hardware. Putting up roadblocks to the development of new applications is a mistake, even if it generates a bit of extra revenue in the short run.
by Timothy Lee
Fri, Jan 25th 2008 4:34am
from the promiscuous-sharing dept