An Opportunity

February 22, 2007

 

I just read on news.ycombinator.com that Google has launched a yearly subscription product that integrates all of their offerings, including: gmail, gtalk, their document and spreadsheets, search and others. Here’s a link:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/21/google-launches-apps-premier/

I noticed at the bottom of the comparison list for the free and paid version of this service that it said something about 3rd party apps. Is this an opportunity? I checked and only about 8 companies are currently in that group. They offer a range of services that build on top of the Google offereings or in some way customize it. Long story short, Google is offering all of us microISVs a platform on top of which to build interesting products. An untouched platform, and they’ll give us technical support too. I can’t shake the feeling that this is a big opportunity for some smaller companies.

There is a drawback; the cost to get in is $10,000 per year. That’s what it costs to be a Google partner. Can we weather that cost? Do they realize that the people who can most easily make an impact on their fledgling platform are one man programmer shops that are looking to make a name for themselves? Why would they charge this much? It boggles the mind.

Still, I wouldn’t let a little thing like money stop me from seeing a good opportunity. Start your engines ISVs, there’s an entirely new world that we have to fill in with good product offerings.

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