Friday, September 29, 2006


It's been almost two years since I met Tony and he told me about his vision for GoingOn, and then he asked me to help build this company.  While I wasn't planning to do another startup for a few years, joining him was one of the best decisions I have made. It's been a fun ride so far and has been exciting to see the market develop and move faster than we ever foresaw.

One healthy sign of an early market is the number of competitors leaping into your space.  It's been interesting to watch over the past several months some of competition that has been popping up:

- Five Across, which use to be a private-label IM (instant message) client and had a blogging platform (Bubbler) targeting the SMB market, completely changed to become... a blogging and social networkng platform.  They position themselves as a "platform for social networking and communities."  It's interesting because over a year ago they approached us to partner with them.  I wonder where they got the idea for their revamped product and business model? Anyway, they recently signed a deal with the NHL, which was great for them and everyone in this space.

- Pluck, which use to be a RSS feed reader company, now primarily sells a blogging and social networking platform called SiteLife.  They have taken a good approach in focusing on newspapers and media companies.

- Crowd Factory is a recent entrant into our space.  One interesting note is that they promoted their product on our homepage/platform a month ago.  I don't know why since we don't have that much traffic nor have we marketed our site enough to deserve such attention :)

- Cerado is a CRM company who recently launched products (i.e. "Business Blogging" and "Social Networking for Businesses") in our space and like Crowd Factory promoted themselves on our platform :)

Then are there others such as iUpload and Kintera, and overlapping players such KickApps and MyBlogLog to name a few.

Unlike many consumer "Web 2.0" plays, this competitive environment is not made up of one-feature companies that hope to generate enought traffic and get sold. All these players are selling something of value to companies and generating revenue, so it makes it a much more exciting market than something like the online calendar space.

In recent news, ZDNet's Dion Hinchcliffe continues his "Enterprise 2.0" discussion with this post, "Can Web 2.0 be adapted to the enterprise?" Of course. And of course I'm using a broader definition of "enterprise" than Dion, but I believe any of the companies I listed above will say that the consumer "Web 2.0" movement will transform how companies operate, sell, market, and function behind their walls.  Omidyar Network's Christine Herron has some more information on this ("Web 2.0 Consumer Technology Hits the Enterprise") along with an overview of other applications and technologies reflective of this movement  she see saw at DEMOfall.

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