What if Sony had…

Sony BMG

While writing my little story about three of my MP3 players I thought of something. What if Sony was the company that made the Diamond Rio? Sony has done a lot of mistakes lately. Two of the worst has to be:

1. Sony owned the market for portable players for two decades. The Walkman in the 80s and the Discman in the 90s. Then, because of a very stupid deal with some very stupid content owners everything went wrong. From the fact that they where way too late into the market of MP3-players. The fact that their first Mp3-player actually did not support the MP3-format…

2. Then they started to infect their customers with evil software full of vulnerabilities. Evil and absolutely useless software.

That last trick is amazing. They have not stopped one single song from entering the filesharing networks. But they have managed to make their customers, their artists, the dealers and just about everyone very very angry.

In general these two horrible mistakes has both been done because Sony’s content division has been afraid of loosing money to filesharing and piracy.

Now they are struggeling. Would they struggle today if they took the market of MP3-players, streamlined communication from their players with the Playstation, made a music shop for the Playstation and just kept producing good content instead of infecting their loyal customers with evil software that don’t stop any pirates?

(Cool Sony CD image courtesy of Collapsibletank)

What if Sony had…

Flickr and Webshots – A classic web2.0 case

WebShots vs Flickr

Alexa is a web site that tracks traffic over time. The data from Alexa is collected from the people running the alexa toolbar in their browser, and in general that is enough to give a quite reliable picture of how a site is doing.

You can also compare charts, and the chart that shows the traffic rank of the popular photo sharing site Webshots vs. the chart of the relatively new but much hyped and right now just as popular service called Flickr is a very interesting illustration.

Webshots started as a general photo sharing site in 1999 and are celebrating their 10th anniversary as a brand these days (they started out as a professional service around 1995). Flickr emerged around february 2004. So, how come that a new site with a name that is difficult to spell and impossible to pronounce can rival Webshots after less than two years? It is difficult to say exactly why Flickr has this fantastic success. But, as it has been discussed all over the web as people realize this interesting and relatively new service – there are some properties of Flickr that is a good example of the successful web 2.0 service:

– A system that is easy to understand
– A clean interface with focus on usability
– Social functions like tagging, groups, commenting, evaluations and friends
– RSS feeds for everything
– An open API

The high usability grabs even your mother as a user. RSS feeds and an open API give them cred and collect users from the tech savvy digerati. The social network and possibility to create communities make both your mother and the geeky neighbour happy.

And while you’re here, please vote for my blog in the Norwegian competition that wants to elect the best technology blog in norway: Now I really need your help :-)

Thomas Hawk has extended this article with more thoughts on the comparison of WebShots and Flickr here.

Narendra Rocheroll has some interesting issues as well. Definitely worth a read.

Due to a heavy load of spam on this post I have closed the comments and trackbacks.

Flickr and Webshots – A classic web2.0 case

Gold and satellite dishes

While walking through the eastern part of Oslo I found this interesting shop. The sign says: "Gifts, gold, satellite dishes and lamps". This is a kind of business that don’t comply with the stuff I learned while working for the consulting firm Accenture, nor do it comply with any of the books I have read on the subject of business and marketing. Still, the whole thing is obvious. I had to take a closer look. Just because of the unusual combination. And, that was the extra attention that made this good maketing and a motivation to enter the shop.

bar & lawnmover rental
More of this please! While studying in Stavanger I was involved in making a commercial for a local bar. The thing is, the owner told us that it had to be completely clear in the commercial that this was not only a bar, but a bar and lawnmover rental. Yes, "bar & lawnmover rental". I have never forgotten that business. However, I do not remember the name of the bar, only that somewhere around Stavanger there is an establishment with this unlikely combination.

So, what do you think? If someone opened "Prada designer clothes & DeWalt power tools" along fifth avenue in New York. Would you enter?

Gold and satellite dishes