FEED THE WEB FIRST

Maximize the value of the network.

Feed the web first. Networks are nurtured by making it as easy as possible to participate. The more diverse the players in your network–competitors, customers, associations, and critics–the better. Becoming a member should be a breeze. You want to know who your customers are, but you don’t want to make it hard for them to get to you (IDs, yes; passwords, no). You want to make it easy for your competitors to join too (all their customers could potentially be yours as well). Be open to the power of network effects: Relationships are more powerful than technical quality. Especially beware of the “not-invented-here” syndrome. The surest sign of a great network player is its willingness to let go of its own standard (especially if it is “superior”) and adopt someone’s else’s to leverage the network’s effect.

 

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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK