From: "Nick May" <nick_at_kyushu.com>
> > www.ILoveTheNewFreeYou.com
> we get a long buildup, then he misses the obvious punchline!
> surely - "NewILoveYouForFree.Com"
Except that, as you say
> ....there's nothing new about it, I get 10gazillion spam messages away
> directing me to a very similar sounding website.
Yes, I know, Nick, I'm getting hits from your phone all the time, these days
> I like like the point about a structured "buddy info exchange" system...
> Care to do some more thinking aloud on this score?
My outline of this idea so far has more detail and substance than I've found
in certain business model patents that I've had the misfortune of reading
recently, so I suppose I should be less forthcoming, and not more.
Especially in light of my rueful admonishments in this venue that IT profit
virtually requires IP filings.
Thinking out loud some more anyway: a few months back I read something,
somewhere (yeah, how helpful, I know) saying that young people here spend
some walloping percentage of their budgets on "communication costs" -- 30%
Interestingly, they included shared meals out and getting together for
drinks, as well as the roundtrip carfare for those events, in their
definition of "communication costs", perhaps confusing "communication" with
Well, if this be confusion, make the most of it, I say. Now, I don't think
you should actually *pay* end users of mobile P2P recommendation systems
(integrated, as appropriate, with messaging, datebook and address book
functions); that's clearly abusable. You'd have the equivalent of classic
fin-de-Bubble malfeasance, best exemplified by "a couple guys we pay to sit
at Kinkos and click through our banner ads". Eventually if not sooner.
But making it free for the end-user might actually work in this case.
Mobile P2P destination-recommendation systems wouldn't have the moral hazard
of the Bubble, where a huge percentage of banner ads (hence revenue) for any
given dot-com were placed by *other* VC-financed dot-coms. Destinations
offering concrete services brings it all back to the ground in one hop. The
limited nature of friendship networks makes any false recommendations both
easy to verify and unlikely to propagate.
I think something like this would have an effect beyond simply speeding up
word-of-mouth. An active, mobile recommendation system with automated
notifications might actual stimulate more communication (= conviviality =
consumption). Even somewhat perfunctory, automated reminders of a
friend's/acquaintance's existence and activities can stimulate contact one
might not otherwise make.
On the other side, however, you have the classic dot-com failure scenario:
the low cost of entry means that if you don't do an expensive media blitz
and get that first-mover advantage, you'll have zillions of competitors for
a service like this. The best way forward is just for someone to say, Gee,
I wish me and my friends had a system like this, let's write it and and
start using it.
Wanna get rich on this one? Fuhgeddit. Settle for being famous in a tiny
Besides, maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.
After all, eBay started because somebody wanted an easier way to trade Pez
dispensers with other collectors. At a current P/E of about 180, eBay is a
laughably bad buy at the moment, but hey, at least they have earnings to
report. That beats all the the high-concept get-rich-quick pure-plays that
piled in after them, many of which are now dying if not dead.
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Received on Sat Oct 27 13:08:02 2001