Very strange. I went to the Zvents blog a few minutes ago and they had a whole post here about how they are announcing that they are adding a “powered by Yahoo’s Web services” logo to their site and their geocoding API calls will be driving the percentage of “where” searches and user venue creates that our own Tiger/line server can’t handle. Now it says the post will be up at 11 a.m. Well, since I had an early look at the post, I say congrats to Yahoo, now the hard evangelism work starts cause for every one Zvents there will be hundreds more real soon now and for every pro site there will be hundreds of thousands of blogs that will put little Web components like maps or Flickr bars on their page. Oh, and Jeremy Zawodny, if you think I’m looking past Yahoo to Google like you posted on your blog yesterday, think again. Yahoo is doing some scary smart work in this space. But, the truth of the matter is that Google is disrupting both Yahoo and Microsoft. You have to look no further than this stock price comparison for Yahoo vs. Google for the past year to see how the market thinks so anyway. Here’s one comparing Yahoo to Microsoft. Looks like we’re in a similar boat. Why? Cause Google built an advertising platform — they used their dominance in search to kick into a new world and are trying to use the dominance in AdSense to get dominance in the attention sphere (through patents).
In other words, Jeremy, if we were really smart, we’d start working together with others in the industry to build our own, open, attention API, that we’d agree not to monetize (at least for a decent length of time) and that we’d get everyone to play in. In other words, if we were smart we’d join the Attention Trust. If we could do that then we could disrupt Google.
Remember what Microsoft did with the Office suite? They (er, I guess we, although I didn’t work at Microsoft back then) disrupted Borland, Wordperfect, and others by changing the game. How could they have fought back? By joining forces. But they couldn’t do that cause they didn’t trust each other.
Well, we’re at another juncture in the industry like that. We have maybe a couple of years to do something different and weird. Something that Google isn’t expecting. Can Yahoo trust Microsoft? Can Microsoft trust Yahoo? And, can the two of us trust eBay or AOL? Can eBay or AOL trust Yahoo or Microsoft? Now you know just how hard this will be. Google is building something that’s gonna disrupt all of us. We all individually have advantages. But it’ll take some clear thinking, some good relationship work cross-company (and, internally at Microsoft cross-group, which really is almost as hard as cross-company work anyway).
Oh, and then there’s Steve Jobs saying “think different.” Let’s not forget about him. Or the Washington Post. Or the New York Times. Or ABC TV. Or Starbucks. Or McDonalds. Or CNN. Or or or or. They all have stakes in this game. Ethan wrote that the game he’s playing is one that’s HUGE. Oh, I totally grok that. Google hasn’t even picked off all the low hanging fruit yet from the advertising industry. That’s why their stock just keeps going up and up and up.
Huh? What drugs you doing Scoble? Oh, so you think Google has tapped out the advertising industry, do you? Well, look at Google Maps again. They haven’t started putting ads on that yet. Why not? They don’t need to. But, let’s say their revenues start flattening out. They only need to make two calls: one to Starbucks. One to McDonalds. The call will go something like this: “we’re ready, can you write the check?”
You KNOW Starbucks and McDonalds would love to put time-based advertising on the maps. That’s why this space is so interesting. Imagine doing a search for an address in Seattle. Starbucks could put little logos of where all their coffee stores are. Then, when you mouse over they could say “come in in the next hour and we’ll give you $1 off of a latte, just tell us this code: JXP1.”
Ogilvy Mather tested such a system with cell phones down in Australia with McDonalds and McDonalds saw per-store sales increase by something like $10,000 EACH. Per DAY!!!
So, don’t tell me this thing is done yet. Don’t tell me that ZVents doesn’t matter. Don’t tell me that Yahoo doesn’t see this opportunity. Or Microsoft either.
Oh, and I wish Ethan Stock, CEO of Zvents had asked me what Virtual Earth is up to and why they should bet on Virtual Earth instead of Yahoo or Google. I was talking with the Virtual Earth team yesterday and they have some disruptions of their own up their sleeves that they’ll play out real soon.
More disruptions ahead!