Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


So Yahoo opens up a little bit. I guess it's the thought that counts - like Google's crippled APIs, I think Yahoo's are still too limited (5k queries/day) to build genuinely useful apps on. Here's the only useful Google API app a quick search reveals.

I will take it as a strong signal of a strategic renewal, helped in part by Google's recent Autolinks fiasco. What struck me as interesting about Autolinks is that it's the first phenomenon to really expose some of the hype effect in the free-culture school's thinking - Cory + the EFF are defending Autolinks, to many people's surprise (my own included). DeepLinks says:

"...Google's Toolbar seems to be a pretty good butler -- it's not like he hides his presence, and you can fire him anytime you like."

This misses the point totally - the issue with MS's SmartTags wasn't at the micro level, it was at the macro level; essentially that the Web itself was about to be co-opted (well, small steps...). The same logic applies to Autolinks. It's pretty dangerous for the EFF to miss this point.

The reason's straightforward - no one's gonna make the large fixed investment to code something whose upside is killed by crippled functionality. I think there are probably better ways to version APIs than by crippling them - perhaps by sending all API calls to a secondary bunch of old crappy servers. The point would be to make the versioning implicit and stochastic - not fixed and explicit.

Also interesting to think about API business models (if we can call em that). I believe eBay charges a lot, Amazon intended to charge but doesn't, and has crippled it's service like Google/Yahoo.

Finally begs the question - what happened to open-source search? Well, it's chugging along...extremely...slowly.

-- umair // 1:28 PM // 0 comments


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