“There is a new SaaS, Something as a Service every month.” This is how I mused a month ago when writing The next SaaS post. Newsweek has the story about the new Amazon reader, Kindle. The device (that looks anything but kindling) will be sold for $399, and will act like an iPod for your books. Kindle will offer more than iPod in one sense: it carries its “iTunes” with it, allowing owners to purchase and download books whenever a wireless network is in sight.
This is new and innovative in the books world but not really new when we think of what Apple did with iTune and iPod. The big difference is that Amazon created a new entry barrier for the avid book reader—buying the Kindle. Different? Yes. For the last 150 years or so, listening to music meant buying a device to play the music. From CD players, Walkmans or MP3 players: we first bought the device, and then bought the content. The music played on our device. Continue reading “RaaS—Reading as a Service and the New Amazon Kindle”
I actually didn’t plan to write about Facebook any more. In my recent post I claimed that Facebook is not solving any real problem. My readers were kind enough to prove me wrong… Jason thought we were just too old, and Jose thought that the problem Facebook is solving is loneliness. This is a big one to solve and a very good point… I scratched my head trying to reconcile the disconnect: Facebook is obviously successful and some people think they cannot live without it (one of the commenters, Radha, tested his strength by not logging into the ‘book for few days—this is how addicting it is). So how come so many people love it and so many others cannot understand the buzz? Continue reading “Facebook, Market Segmentation And a Discussion Mark Zuckerberg Never Had”
In a typical Silicon Valley speed, Facebook coverage moved from being all glamorous to more realistic coverage that focuses on the challenges ahead. It looks as if the company has matured in a matter of weeks and now needs to deal with the real world problems and not only with the hype.Seth Godin compared Facebook with good old Hotmail. He foresees similar monetization challenges for Facebook, since they never developed a permission asset and a real relationship with their customers. (It is amazing to see that the question of how to monetize a free service is still open, more than 10 years after Hotmail was launched.)
Alas, I am not going to discuss monetization today. I think Facebook has another big challenge for long-term sustainability (and they have $15B to sustain…): it does not solve any real problem for its customer base. Continue reading “Which Problem Is Facebook Solving?”