Russell Beattie over at, erm, russellbeattie.com* posted an interesting entry yesterday on the lack of business perspective in Web 2.0 businesses. It’s basically an eloquent version of GFY: more articulate, rational and with appropriately directed criticism.
The social innovations like tagging, and blogging integration were essentialy marketing efforts built on top of their [Flickr] platform meant to drive more people to sign up for the pro photo storage service or click on ads, not core parts of the product itself. It wasn’t social software for the sake of social software, it was “how can we make this product attractive to users and developers in order to drive revenue?” In other words, it was a real business.
But let’s think of some of the popular new site launches lately… web chat and IM comes to mind. WTF is the business? All those Map mashups out there? WTF is the business? Calendaring and Ajax desktops? WTF is the business? They’re just FEATURES built on top of other company’s APIs, adding very little real value, and not making a dime of profit.
Sounds scarily coherent and logical to me. It’s quite evident when you think of it, but thinking of stuff doesn’t come easy. Perhaps it’s because all thought must be assigned to the creation and development of features. And since I didn’t think of this myself, perhaps I’m one of those people who aren’t business-oriented.
Come to think of it, I think I am a Web 2.0 company.
Scarily coherent and logical when you think of it.
I’m a fat, pot-bellied twat (round corners); I’m incoherent both in mind and expression, and seem to focus on all the wrongs things in life (tag cloud); My interests limit themselves to computers, internet and the occasional session of WoW – otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on (whitespace); If I was ever referred to as a colorful person, it was either because of my menorrhea-like mood or bizarre sense of fashion – nevermind personality (pastels); I possess an inherent loathe towards all human beings that I haven’t acquainted myself with via a computer (folksonomy); The few times I’m required to communicate without the means of technology, I like to present myself honestly, naturally and stripped to the bone – literally (RSS); and finally, I never amount to anything, and I can never hold a job for more than the amount of time it takes for my bosses to discover that I do in fact amount to nothing (features versus platforms: wtf 2.0).
Don’t hesitate to submit your own comparisons, folks.
(*what’s the deal with tech/webdesigner types always putting their name as the domain and title of their blog/site? Are they spending all their creativity on their tech/webdesigner type work and are thus left with nothing left in their inspiration quota?)
Today, at about 4:10 PM (GMT +1), Foldera‘s CEO and founder Richard Lusk decided to drop by Schadenfreude and answer some of the issues I pointed out regarding his hyped-up web-based application.
First of all, Richard, thanks for the reply. I would never expect the courtesy. I must say, though, on some of the issues your reply seemed a tad hurried and ambiguous, not properly explaining how and why these facets of Foldera will be successfully executed.
I think if it’s anything the blogosphere (well, people within Foldera’s target audience in general) wants to hear, it’s spesific details regarding the implementation of the application’s features and structure, and how they translate to everyday use.
Bloggers are an intelligent breed that will take some effort to convince. If you made it a goal of describing the hows and whys of your application in relatively great detail, not leaving too much to the reader/listener to assume, I truly believe you’d attract a lot more interested people, including the die-hard sceptics. This is, of course, supposing that your product actually has something to fare with and that you don’t have anything to hide prior to release.
I’ve got some follow-up questions if you don’t mind answering them, and I would be overjoyed if you would do so in a more detailed manner. I understand if you can’t reveal all the details about Foldera at this point in the development, but I think you’d benefit from going a little deeper.
(Don’t take this as flame or myself trying to lecture you; this is just my honest opinion. The fact that you took your time to answer my questions at all tells me that you take even low-level bloggers such as myself seriously, which is a bloody brilliant thing to begin with.)
“Will calendar entries pop up at the exact time at which they’re set or will it gradually make its way up your inbox as the scheduled date and time looms closer?”- Schadenfreude it’s entirely up to you. Foldera has very granular personalization abilities, so you can decide what works for you, and change your settings whenever you want. It’s really easy too.
What are these personalization abilites? Can you give examples and/or screenshots that showcases this?
Additionally, because our page loads are so light, Foldera won’t tie up your bandwidth resources either. You’ll soon see that Foldera will load as fast as many of your favorite online sites like Yahoo Mail, CNN, Amazon and others.
That’s my point, it’ll load as fast as any regular website. Which is quite a lot slower than, say, Outlook. I assume you’ve made it as light as possible, so this isn’t something you can improve upon further. Hence, I’m not saying this as a complaint to you; more as statement of the fact that when you’re web-based, you’re always gonna be slower than light desktop apps.
Another thing: How will the heavy use of Ajax affect the speed of Foldera? In a big business environment with loads of workers uploading/editing items simultaneously, couldn’t the bandwidth hog be quite severe?
Following that, would it in any way be possible to run Foldera on an intranet? Could the bandwidth issue be more easily avoided then? I understand how this takes away some of the point of Foldera (being able to access it from any computer/mobile device as long as it’s got an internet connection), but the most important trait is kept intact; the ability to upload items to a common server rather than e-mail them from one personal account to another.
“Can you implement items from other applications, spesifically those that are business-spesific?” Sure, just forward whatever you want to your Foldera. That’s really easy too.
I’m sorry, that was a terribly worded question. I meant to ask something along these lines: Will it be possible to install third-party plugins as well as incorporate other business-specific applications into it? I’m sure there are plenty of applications that are used exclusively in certain work environments/professions that could be dramatically enhanced by being embedded into Foldera. Or is this a moot point, since it isn’t open-source?
Again, thanks for the reply. I’m eager to read your answers to my follow-up questions.
As for the rest of my devoted heap of readers – don’t hesitate to post your questions and comments. I’m sure there are many of you that are capable of asking more qualified questions.
All in all, I like the look of this. I like how if functions as a place to upload and share things rather than send things from one unique user to another. I like how it automatically sorts items, and I love the incorporation of other work-related items that with the current standards are seperated from each other.