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Jim Morris's Thought of the Week (or month, or year, ...)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Hire Lobbyists

Three groups of interested parties threaten the growth and health of the Internet. The first group is the communications companies such as AT&T, Verizon, etc., which are fighting to control access and service levels on the Internet. The second group is the content providers such as publishing (including print, music, and video) companies and database providers who will fight to prevent universal access and fair use copying. And the third group is governments, which may resist, restrict, and/or monitor information exchange, as is already happening in China.

All three of these groups have massive lobbying operations, primarily in Washington D.C. But the beneficiaries of the Internet remaining free, open, and neutral – Google, eBay, Amazon, et al. – have very few lobbyists. The battle over control of the nations’ communications infrastructure has been going on for over a century, and new companies must get in the game.

posted by Jim Morris @ 9:00 PM  0 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sell to the Long Tail

Chris Anderson (, the editor of Wired magazine, observes that an Internet bookstore like can stock 20 times as many titles as a physical book store. A graph showing total sales of all titles ranked by quantity would exhibit a very long curve approaching zero, its long tail. While many of those titles are sold in small numbers, they collectively comprise 20% of Amazon’s revenues. The same is true for sellers of movies and music. The Internet’s lower selling costs allow more product diversity, larger customer bases, and better target audiences for the advertisers.

posted by Jim Morris @ 9:01 PM  0 comments

Friday, April 14, 2006

Don’t Compete with Microsoft™

The search for new software business models is partly based on the need to avoid Microsoft. The greatest fear of a software product developer is that Microsoft will offer your product for free, and venture capitalists will often ask entrepreneurs how they intend to compete with Microsoft. However, not competing with Microsoft is easier said than done - Microsoft took away Netscape’s oxygen by offering a competing product as a component of a bundled product.

posted by Jim Morris @ 9:06 PM  0 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

Use Advertising to Make Money

If you are thinking of a business based on a web service, Goggle and Yahoo! offer you a business model that simplifies your life. Give the service for free but, to generate revenue, provide relevant advertising links. You eliminate the worries about pricing, collecting for services, and other business details, allowing you to focus on what’s really critical – creating a service that attracts a lot of traffic, which is the hardest part of starting a business. Sales resistance from pricing is minimized because your service is free, and users are more forgiving if your service doesn’t work perfectly in the beginning. Doing a start-up just got easier.

posted by Jim Morris @ 9:07 PM  0 comments

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