Understanding & Visualizing Network Effects

When markets are healthy and growing that growth can hide major issues, but when the markets swing toward a loss the winners are separated from the losers. As the markets consolidate and the thin arbitrage opportunities fall away the market leaders own a much bigger piece of the market.

The above chart could just as easily be a finance chart comparing Google's 5 year performance to Yahoo's, or any other industry undergoing heavy consolidation. Google's brand is search. Yahoo's brand is ???

Many people view you how you view yourself and label you with the labels you attach to yourself. Something to consider when creating a new business in a saturated field.

If you are not considered the #1 site in your class / vertical then you need to change your brand, find ways to add value (like editorial content, unique data formats, syndication, or open APIs), build an organic advantage (using a strong domain name, a great site design, and through public relations) or do something else to change the rules.

Published: January 30, 2008 by Aaron Wall in business

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Comments

January 30, 2008 - 3:33pm

Not only did Autobytel try to recruit me for SEO over a period of 4 months... when I finally gave in and agreed to see what they had to say, they failed to contact me.

I have a friend who worked there and describes them like this:

The corporate culture was abysmal. Stagnate, inflexible, biased, back stabbing... you name it, they got it in spades. It was one of the most stifling and idiotic companies I’ve worked for. Very few of the VPs are worth anything and some are jerks that wouldn’t hear a construction ball coming through the wall.

January 30, 2008 - 4:20pm

Autobytel has larger problems than their brand name. They are calling MyRide.com their "flagship product" while it doesn't even use their database of vehicles. The classifieds arrive via the Vast.com API, and that's OK as long as they don't mind funneling traffic directly to their competitors.

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