You knew a Web 2.0 shakeup had to occur sooner or later and 2007 seems to be that year. If you read TechCrunch you know that Arrington has a Deadpool section that he puts sites going under in. January has seen a lot of activity in this section and I don’t think it is going to stop anytime soon. What I find surprising are the people in the comments of these entries acting surprised or thinking that it must be a bad time for the web.
When Amazon or eBay go under then you can worry about the web, but when a site that copies everyone else and thinks one of the big boys is going to scoop them up goes under there is no reason to panic. If you were thinking about starting a web company or have one already this is a great time for you because this is where you can really shine.
Yesterday over at 9rules Notes I asked why do people pay for services because I was wondering (again) why more companies don’t charge for their services. A great response came from Teej who says:
- 37signal’s flagship product, Basecamp is a project collaboration tool for team-to-team or business-to-client communication.
- Aaron Wall’s SEO book is a evolving resource of up-to-date traffic enhancing strategies for the web.
- Michael McDerment’s FreshBooks is an online billing tracking system helping you manage, distribute and receive payment on invoices.
Yes, all of these services have a focus on being easy to use, powerful, and professional but that’s not what’s most important. The biggest selling point of these services is that they help their users make more money and make money faster.
What makes the businesses willing to pay? ROI.
Now I don’t think paid services only apply to businesses as he implied (Flickr is a great example), but think about the last thing he has said. ROI. Such a simple concept, yet so many businesses fail to embrace it. How many of these services actually increase your ROI. Now your investment doesn’t have to be in money, it can be measured in time as well.
How many free web statistics programs are there that people can use yet Shaun Inman’s Mint is still selling copies. SmugMug actually charges you to upload photos in its user community, which you can do on Flickr for free, yet they are profitable and making around $10 million a year.
Maybe I’m a sick person to get more excited about seeing companies drop out of the race than to enter it, but I’m sure I’m not alone. Yeah it sucks to see a good company go under, but I can’t say I have seen one yet fall. Instead, the ones that seem to be leaving the web space are the ones you could have expected to leave when they first entered.
To think of it another way how many of you would get distraught to see 95% of the design galleries disappear?
Originally posted on January 23, 2007 @ 5:03 am