Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Phil suggests Ning should become, essentially, middleware for quick'n'easy web dev.
Not a bad idea, but there are a few problems with this strategy.
1) The market is not huge
2) There are many (many) substitutes, most of which are open-source (=free)
3) Most of the end-user markets are winner-take-all markets; ie, there's not a huge gap for a Metafilter, in, say, finance - Mefi's already got it covered.
4) But the biggie is really that Ning is a layer commoditizer. Ning's bet is esentially the peer production/cheap coordination bet - that the core atomizes, and so value shifts to the edges of the value chain, and Ning will be able to grab a share (somehow). Positioning as middleware contradicts these economics.
Nice try, but I've gotta say, I'm still more than a little puzzled by Ning. Yeah, it's cool - if you're a geek.
But I have yet to be convinced that they have some insight into how to capture a share of the value they will create by atomizing their value chain.
And in fact, I have yet to hear anyone really suggest a model that would work for Ning...any takers?
The closest one I've heard so far, apart from Phil's, is that Ning becomes essentially an enterprise bet - infrastructure for players who want to make the Media 2.0 bet, but want to Ningify the whole thing.
And, in a long-standing Web 2.0 tradition, I have to say, I really, really dislike the name.
Guys, what is up with the names - Ning, Memeorandum, Jeteye (!). OK, at least they're not corporate - but they don't exactly roll off the tongue, trigger any kind of evocative associations, or even sound remotely cool. Take a cue from del.icio.us - it's complicated, but it works.
I don't like "memeorandum" either. Serious suggestions in this spot are welcomed!
^ above by Gabe of memeorandum
numbers are hot.
977977.com for example.
easy to use on a celphone