I had an interesting exchange with developer and entrepreneur Jackson Miller this afternoon about about SingleStat.us.

He said:

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:

  1. MySpace doesn’t even break even on their own advertising
  2. Users of MySpace do not have high standards for software and services
  3. Anything valuable you could create for MySpace, NewsCorp could easily replicate and integrate
  4. 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.

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