I read an interesting article the other day in The Wall Street Journal titled, “Would-Be Web Moguls Learn to Battle Spam, Beat What Rivals Offer”. [note: access is no longer open or I’d add a link. Thanks to Jerry King for sending it my way…]. It was like an American Idol of Web 2.0 Business plans with VC’s as judges/panellists. One of the criteria used by the VCs judges/panellists was, “Is this thing a feature or is it a business?” This has always been a VC product assessment criteria.
Yesterday, Michael Arrington leaked screenshots of Google Online Calender. Now, I could be wrong, but I see calendars as a feature, not a business. I think Google gets this. They built Gmail first and they plan to integrate the calendar. On the other hand, I’m not sure 30boxes gets it, nor do the VCs (who I gather – though this is unconfirmed – have put millions into that business). I hope they have some huge ideas planned, things I can’t quite see (and I have not thought about it too much) and prove me wrong. That said, I see a calendar as something that works within context of, or in conjunction with, other parts of my life. For example, in MS Outlook the key app for me the email aspect. The calendar is a bonus. I’ve grown to like it a lot, but it’s not VITAL. I could use a pad and paper for my calendar and be just fine.
Long story short, calendars are a feature to me. Pooling Calendar events (i.e. event data like Ticketmaster concerts), now that’s a business.
Just my 2 cents.