Everything Everywhere

There’s a post on the YouTube blog that’s titled YouTube Everywhere. In it, YouTube announces additions to it’s API that allow you to interact with YouTube from almost anywhere. YouTube has always been pretty open, and they certainly popularized embedded video which to my mind is one of the greatest innovations on the web in the past five years.

Rafe Needleman reblogged the news with the headline – YouTube, once just a desitnation, is becoming a service too.

Here’s my headline. You cannot be a destination exclusively on the Internet anymore. If you are not a open web service, you won’t get nearly as far these days.

Our experience with Twitter is informative. Some twitter users visit its web service regularly. Others never use it. With Twitterfific on my macbook and Twhirl on my Windows machine in the office and SMS on my phone, there are many days where I never visit twitter.com.

Twitter launched with this architecture. And it has worked wonderfully for them. Twitter is everywhere.

So if you are building a new web service today, forget about being a destination. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t. Don’t fuss about that. Focus on making your service available everywhere. If you do that, you’ll build a much larger user base.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Scott Johnson

    And, while I was reading this post, in it’s entirety, on Yahoo!, they showed me an advertisement that AVC won’t see any revenue from. Monetizing this big audience that never visits your site is not so straightforward. Monetizing a destination site was hard enough. RSS needs to become RSRS “Really Simple Revenue Sharing.”

    1. fredwilson

      Well remember that the ads are not the way I monetize this blog. Monetization on the internet is never straightforwardFred

  2. Barrett

    Does this just relate to consumer apps or can business focused web services learn something too? Long time reader and I just joined a firm called Zoominfo and I am trying to figure out ways to have us be the destination for 1 of our target markets. It would nice to be “everywhere” but what does that mean in a business sense? I think LinkedIn (competitor) is moving in that direction but I have doubts about their business model (and that is not just because they are a competitor).

    1. leigh

      Working with many large corporate clients, trying to get them to think this way as well – the upside to exporting the brand in my mind completely overshadows any downside they may feel about the loss of control (which i think they actually lost sometime around 1996 anyhow). Wrote a post on it a while back….http://leighhimel.blogspot….

    2. omichels

      Hi, Barrett – welcome to Zoominfo. We at Mashery are thrilled to work with you on Zoominfo’s API – check it out at http://developer.zoominfo.comCheers – Oren

  3. jeremystein

    imo, rate limiting is the most crucial factor in the monetization of an api. it controls your costs and affects how you scale. i skimmed through the api docs and interestingly enough, i can’t find anything on rate limiting. are developers really free to make an unlimited amount of requests?

    1. omichels

      Jeremy – totally agree with you here; it was the lack of rate limiting that doomed the API that we tried to launch when I was at Feedster, and was a major factor in my decision to start Mashery (www.mashery.com). Rate limiting (and the key issuance to support it) was the first feature we launched in our on-demand API infrastructure web service, and it’s now in use by most of our API provider customers.It turns out that rate limiting is just one of many aspects of “Business Rules Enforcement” – the general class of services that one needs to avoid chaos, control access, and in general manage an API as an effective business development tool and distribution channel.Oren

  4. omichels

    Fred, as you often do, you have managed to sum up an important subject in a handful of short and simple sentences. Thanks!Anyone who is interested in delving more into this topic should consider joining us at The Business of APIs conference in New York this coming Monday, March 17. Among the stellar group of speakers is none other than Fred’s partner, Brad Burnham – but we’ll also have speakers from web startups like Lookery to major companies like IBM, salesforce.com and Yahoo! – all talking about Fred’s truism that “if you are not an open web service, you won’t get nearly as far these days”. Check it out at http://www.apiconference.com – and if you’d like to save $100 on registration, use the code BAPI1 when you register. Hope to see you there!

  5. hypermark

    Moral of the story? Reach matters, and the audience is the network, not some artificial destination. As the audience increasingly has multiple modalities (my blog, my facebook profile, my phone, my Mac, etc.), the challenge is figuring out which metrics are monetize-able, where control matters and where giving into “the current” is the right approach.Cheers,Mark–My Blog: http://www.thenetworkgarden.com