Pieces on the chessboard

Fascinating. eBay does a deal with Google for international advertising, plus click-to-call services through Skype. This, only months after eBay announced a broad strategic partnership with Yahoo!, which is still in place. The leading Web-based companies are developing the co-opetition matrix for the next phase of the Internet economy. No one is a pure-play here. Amazon.com and eBay are primarily e-commerce providers, but they’ve made significant strides into areas such ...

The new edge and the new core

Two of the most exciting technology companies these days are Amazon.com and Sun. They’re interesting because they’ve identified an impending sea-change in the computing landscape, and positioned themselves to take advantage of it. That makes Wall Street and the public skeptical. They much prefer a narrow focus on the next quarter and extending existing markets. Yet such linear thinking is what produces the innovator’s dilemma trap identified by Clay Christiansen. ...

Web 2.0: A snake eating its own tail?

Steve Rubel perceptively points out a risk factor in the burgeoning Web 2.0 economy: Startups are depending on advertising from other startups. As he notes, this was one cause of the dotcom crash in 2001. When one set of startups failed, the impact cascaded onto other companies (including more established players like Sun and Cisco) that had become dependent on their revenues. The positive sign for today’s generation of startups ...

The online video gold rush

Sony Pictures is buying Grouper for $65 million in cash. This should open the floodgates for online video sharing startup acquisitions, following similar patterns in social networking and Web-based office productivity tools. Google and Yahoo! will be acquirers in this area, but as the Grouper deal shows, so will traditional media companies. For example, I’d expect Fox, which is actively building a digital media empire, to do a video distribution ...

Net neutrality as consumer protection

At the Progress and Freedom Foundation annual conference, FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras asserted that her agency has the authority to address discriminatory actions by broadband providers. The implication was that Congress and the FCC need not adopt new rules to protect network neutrality. Majoras’ remarks were clearly directed at Congress, where net neutrality is a major sticking point on proposed telecom legislation. Her remarks raise a deeper question. Is ...

Losing Control

JP Rangaswami: “I’ve said before that it’s all about Trust. Now I think it’s more than that, it’s also all about Losing Control. Gracefully.”