Re: Office? What's An Office? by Corante

I just posted the following as a comment to, “Office? What’s An Office?“.  I figured I’d post it here too:

Have you seen what I Cringely has to say about the software landscape?

“And unless Google comes up with an ecosystem to allow their survival, that means all the other web services companies will be marginalized. There will be startups and little guys, but no medium-sized companies.”

I think this is really interesting.  As the founder of a web services company that competes with Intuit Quickbooks (and Blinksale for that matter), I’d like to believe this, and the fact is I can because we (like Basecamp and Blinksale) are living it.

The more people turn to the web, the less desktop software they will buy.  The incumbent desktop software providers, Microsoft, Intuit, etc, have relied on costly distribution models and established reseller networks as competitive advantages.  For example, when you go to Best Buy, how many accounting packages can you buy? 

Online, more and more offerings are available everyday and the landscape is becoming wider and wider.  This is going to make it really hard for the incumbents to leverage their distribution models as a competitive advantage.  Influencers are no longer only large retail chains and resellers, they are blogs and communities, etc.  You have to stack up across a whole sea of product feedback. Most people go to a few providers’ websites before purchasing….you can’t do that at Best Buy…and when you search online your next competitor/negative review/angry customer’s thoughts are always just a click away.  This is one reason I think service matters a lot these days.

The web as a PLATFORM and a DISTRIBUTION model has real implications for the market.  Giddyup.

Michael McDerment
Founder 2ndSite Inc.

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