Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Tuesday, December 5

Economy of abudance & distributed product//service architecture

Om Malik points out to an excellent article written by Kevin Maney for USA Today. Kevin argues about a new world order, taking Amazon's web services (AWS) as an example. Although to me, i am unsure, whether the other companies listed there will take up this suggestion and execute things like in "Web services", it makes a good reading & a pointer to a "Longtail" world, neatly summarized by Chris Anderson.

It makes a lot more sense today, since with a 6 Billion population, and an average of about 0.01% of people sharing a particular interest, than we have a user base of around 6 million people for that product or service. Distributed products/services, based out of existing infrastructure is a new way of looking at creating 'market niches' for a generation, which is born with mobile, web and sensors around. Creating 'platforms' as against stand alone products are going to be the rage for the next generation of mankind. Web creates the headway first, than probably will be followed by other industries in the due course. Sharing ATMs in India, can be talked upon as a tiny step taken by non-web industries to "create, share & use" philosophy. If Amazon web services (AWS) created the "virtual startup, virtual entreprenurship" era, YouTube created the "distribute anywhere, everywhere media, Gmail created "no inbox full ever, creeping storage data", as Chris Andresson, clearly puts we are entering an "Economy of abundance".

Kevin for his part, neatly summarized some of the ideas, which is worth looking at in a way AWS does for the web.
if executives at Hormel Foods thought about their business the way Bezos thinks about Amazon, Hormel could create a meat platform. If I have a great idea for a new kind of sausage, I could use Hormel to make it, store it and ship it, while I sold it from a website. I could create a sausage company and never step foot in a rendering plant.

Maybe this trend would not be such bad news for GM. It has excess capacity and nearly 100 years of manufacturing expertise. If it created a car making platform, GM could enable the creation of dozens of new niche-market car companies, all using GM to make and distribute their designs.

I'm not saying the Hormel or GM examples are likely to happen, but some company will do something along those lines. It's not that far afield from today's contract manufacturers in Asia, which make batches of cellphones or toys or shoes on demand. Except Amazon's concept suggests a new level of sophistication and ease-of-use. Point, click and make a product to sell to the world.

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