I had an interesting exchange with developer and entrepreneur Jackson Miller this afternoon about about SingleStat.us.
I have talked about businesses based around MySpace with several people, and I may be the only one who thinks it is not a good market, but here are my reasons why:
- MySpace doesn’t even break even on their own advertising
- Users of MySpace do not have high standards for software and services
- Anything valuable you could create for MySpace, NewsCorp could easily replicate and integrate
- MySpace is dying
I response, I said:
Interesting points, but your four reasons not to start a business around Myspace are just excuses not to try something. Michael Arrington said in his review of SingleStat.us that “Singlestat.us is a great, simple idea built by one guy in just a few days.”
Now maybe SingleStat.us isn’t going to be the next Google or Microsoft, but I’ll bet you that if the back-end of his website is fully automated, he’ll end up making far more over the life of the site than he would have working for the man for a few days.
The fear that it’s pointless to create addon services for popular websites like Myspace because if the service is profitable the parent company will just create a copy of your service and add it into the website isn’t necessarily realistic, either. It’s possible that he’ll be able to make a healthy living off his SingleStat.us without Myspace ever noticing, and even if they did, they’re like a battleship and he’s the sailboat. One may be bigger and more powerful than the other, but the sailboat and turn on a dime. Lastly, if News Corp decides to integrate a profitable service, like his, into Myspace, why would they bother to develop it in-house, when his service already has an active following? Most likely, they’ll pick it up, and his three days of hacking will be very handsomely rewarded.