„Things are about to get a little less awesome”vineri, septembrie 14th, 2012
Look at your smart phone or your tablet. Some of the best apps out there are free programs that bring down walls, connecting you to businesses and information that generally makes you life easier or more enjoyable, whether it’s finding transportation, ordering dinner, or naming a song. Many of these companies either have no business model, or have a business model so thin as to be practically imperceptible to its users. In some corners, this is a mockable fact, but rather than mock it, you should stop and appreciate how amazing this is: Some of the smartest and most creative entrepreneurs and developers of our generation are dedicated to making awesome stuff for you, and, bankrolled by deep-pocketed venture capitalists, their determining business metric was not „How will you make money from credit cards and marketing departments?” but rather: How many millions of people are you delighting with your exceptionally cheap product? It is hard to imagine an industry built on a more satisfying premise for customers.
If we’re graduating from the „making delightful and cheap things” stage of the social media age to the „making money” stage, make no mistake: Things will get less delightful. In order to be profitable, it is highly likely that Twitter can only get more annoying, Pandora can only get more interrupt-y, Tumblr can only get more cluttered, Facebook can only get more devious, and the app baubles on your iPhone can only get more expensive.
The first few years of the social media revolution have been a golden age of tech utilitarianism, where maximizing users’ delight was considered, quite literally, the only currency that mattered. In Part II of the revolution, the desired currency is poised to change from attention to profit. That’s a shame. It doesn’t mean that the programs you love are anywhere close to coming to an end. It just means that things are about to get a little less awesome.
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