February 2, 2009

Twitter, really? You're surprised?

I'm always a bit surprised at the media's surprise of media darlings (to wit: "Twitter's Risk of Ubiquity"). First, we're all lemmings - where "all" especially includes anybody who thinks they are a subject matter expert, analyst, or pundit.

Secondly (specific to this instance), Twitter is Second Life for the "cool" geeks (what's the emoticon for sarcasm?). Which is to say, though not as nerdy as 3D, it is an interesting indicator of future interaction patterns ("follow the alpha geek"). But, its never going to be a interesting business, and the early pioneers will likely not stand the test of time.

An ex-VP of Business Development of one of my endeavors once said "Our goal is to have a business model that you can't disprove in a finite amount of time." (I probably should have listened to him - but that's a story for another day)

So here's my new axiom for the new economy (I'll warn you in advance that its not as pithy as my former colleague's):

If you have a Chief Revenue Officer, you might be a jack-ass.

The business of EVERY business is to make money. Seriously. Its right there in the definition and everything.

22 comments:

Michael said...

aw, somebody needs a hug...


(this is lorna. on mike's account. but not mike.)

Michael said...

(This is actually mike)

I can see you making an analogy to AIM, which despite its idiotic pop-out ads when I mouseover the AIM window, can't be making a ton of money for AOL.

But, today: Twitter causes people to use a pay-per-message service (SMS), that makes cell phone companies a ton of profit. This is a temporary effect in a IP-connected world, but right now I'm sure it's non-trivial. Verizon probably makes a lot from Twitter.

Especially with its search feature, Twitter is actually blazing new ground in real-time interactions on the web. Innovation captures market share and attention.

I think you're saying that Twitter (as a company) isn't adaptable enough to convert market share and popularity into revenue.

Google (as everyone knows) has done this quite nicely. I expect Twitter will do fine.

Sree Kotay said...

Hi Michael! (And Lorna/Michael :))

Sure... I'll take a hug :D

Not sure I fully agree - monetization has been very difficult. Google's still stumbling with YouTube, which is the second largest Search Engine on the Web, after Google itself.

*Web* Search is a natural gateway application - its often task oriented with the intent of navigation.

Other types of search? Less clear... not to say the code won't get cracked, just saying, its a lot of money for a relatively low-barrier to entry (witness FriendFeed, or Facebook's status update)...

Sree Kotay said...

(after all, AIM causes text messages too, but there's an out-of-wackness when monetization and scalability don't have a convergence curve?)

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