Monetizing Widgets

Mike Hirshland asks if you can make money in the widgets business. And he’s gotten a number of blog posts back with thoughtful answers.

Here’s my take. Of course you can make money in the widgets business. I think you can make money in most any business if you take the right angle on the opportunity.

Many people thought you couldn’t make money in feeds, that RSS was an open standard, that managing feeds would be a commodity, and that there wasn’t a defensible position to be had. FeedBurner proved them all wrong and has built a wonderful business in feed management.

Will the widget opportunity be the same as feeds? Should the playbook for widgets be the same one FeedBurner used for feeds? I doubt it. Frankly FeedBurner is already moving into widgets so copying their playbook (being the FeedBurner for widgets) seems like the wrong angle to take.

But I guarantee you that there are some smart crafty entrepreneurs out there right now who have figured an angle that does make sense and are building the technology to power their move.

I think that is what startups are all about. It’s not just about technology. That’s necessary but not sufficient. It’s about the angle of attack. The entry point. Getting that right is often the hardest part.