Web 2.0 and the corporate market
All familiar stuff, right?
Well, that’s not how it is in the world of Web 2.0.
The tools are cheap to begin with, and often free, and tend to be aimed at consumers — not surprisingly, because Web 2.0 is about individual empowerment, not about supporting command-and-control style corporate processes. I’ve heard people talk about selling Web 2.0 stuff to the corporate world and charging a lot of money that they’re not charging to consumers, but I don’t think they understand the corporate market today. Companies do not want to pay any more than consumers. And they like free just as much as everyone else does. There are some limited exceptions, e.g. a company may pay extra for a robust version of a tool, say something that’s hosted at a high-availability facility and has 24-hour support. Or they might pay for a copy to install on their own servers, behind their firewall. But they’ll only pay a reasonable premium for these things. If the premium is too high, they’ll just use the consumer version. Even if the consumer version has a usage limit, a corporate user may not be that much more likely to exceed it than anyone else, because the user is still just one person.
I guess this post continues a semi-theme in this blog: it’s not that easy to make a living from Web 2.0.
Hat tip to Toronto Wiki Tuesdays, a monthly event hosted by Sunir Shah and Martin Cleaver, for giving me a forum last night to articulate the above point.