Trip back from pc forum.
All about google and search and social networks and identity management. They all intersect in transaction driven classified advertising. Google has by far the best distribution pipe although yahoo is making progress opening up their brand to search driven revenues.
The prospect that google will offer email remains perhaps the single most disruptive possibility for the current portal landscape (ie yahoo, aol, msn/hotmail, etc). Somebody credible suggested that she had seen a version of googlemail that is "delicious, perfect, clean, just what you would expect from google."
Eric schmidt the ceo of google said he couldn't comment on future production developments when I asked him about this.
Somebody else said that google would have to solve the spam problem in a particularly satisfying manner. This seems possible, given googles trackrecord of solving tough problems with elegant solutions (search,
adwords, adsense, popup blocker). But it has also produced its share of questionable killer apps (froogle, googlenews for instance).
As to the question of whether consumers would enmasse give up their yahoo aol or hotmail email address, one of the elder product statesmen at aol told me that in the end consumers will have their own email names devoid of the service partner. I should add that this same person was the one who invented the buddy list as a means of expressing one's live presence within aol in 1995 and then created aim shortly thereafter.
His vision that we will all be easily accessible with a single name across wired and wireless networks, across email, im and voice suggests that the switching costs for choosing google, for example, as the primary email interface instead of yahoo would be minimal.
Now when you factor that roughly 50% of the time spent on yhoo is email related, and that 50% of their advertising revenue is equal to over $400M per year, then its clear what the economic stakes could be.
The other pressure being brought to bear on the current internet/business market is the value of trusted relationships. Linkedin is by far the furthest along in terms of establishing a transparent interface into ones existing business relationships. Friendster has done the same for social relationships (albeit for a younger market).
Linkedin's ceo reid hoffman told me how linkedin is a broad platform of open trust that he will leverage against a variety of applications over time, including jobs, professional services, etc. He was admant about not doing anything that smelled of selling members out or of allowing untrusted contact of any kind.
Between search, email, social networks and ecommerce engines, there aint much more to it.
Google, iaci, yhoo, amzn, and ebay are driving the evolution of the internet. Microsoft has a special priviliged position but continues to keep up with the jones. Aol is its own independent republic trying desparately to become annexed by the web at large.
I am trying hard to relate this back to the earlier conversation about trading commissions. Not an obvious connection. Brokers do rely similarly upon sources of trusted information and a clean interface between buyer and seller.
As it relates to majestic, our value is marked to market on a regular basis. This is primarily driven by the predictability of our data analysis to highlight trends before they are reported by companies. This is essentially the quality of our products to help our customers figure out what they are trying to solve in terms of equity research.
It might be obvious to you, but I just realized that the word "research" actually contains "search" within it. Duh. Maybe it isn't such a stretch after all.
Majestic's unique opportunity is to become the preferred information search engine for institutional investors.
One could argue that gerson lehrman represents the ebay of investment research, in so far as it brings together buyers and sellers of domain expertise. The social dynamics that it touches upon are also at work in such stand alone social apps as meetup.com and linkedin.
regarding search, googles breakthrough was a couple of key steps:
-invent a better way of finding relevant links
- provide advertisers a simple way of reaching people
- provide publishers a simple way of generating ad revenue
In between was tremendous consumer adoption that let to all sorts of scale advantages.