MODEL 4: Revenue from services
Services are something we can definitely say is missing on my local network. The bigger part of the web in my country is focused on media content – showing articles with advertisements around them. In terms of software, it is easier to make media – in fact, everything you need can be either obtained for free or you can use the thousands of paid or partially paid systems that can do the job.
When you think about it, to create a new website, technically you need categories and articles – two components that have been popular on the internet for 15 years. Of course, the easiest thing about the media website is its creation as a software, while the much more complicated part is the establishment of a media policy, a team of high-quality editors, who have something to say and not just a group of scribblers meeting their production quota of eight articles during their eight-hour shift.
Things are just the opposite with services. You will need much more time to consider your idea, as much time to design and describe it, and not less time to have it programmed according to your requirements because there is a great chance that the service you create has no analog and it is impossible to use any know-how from an already working system. Some years ago Associate Professor Lyudmil Nikolov introduced to our university course the Nobel Prize formula, which we, the young scientists, carefully wrote down:
Familiar subject + old technology = graduation paper
Unfamiliar subject + old technology = scientific degree
Unfamiliar subject + new technology = Nobel Prize
In online business things are much the same as in science – everyone uses already familiar models and rarely embarks on the adventure of inventing new and more complicated models and technologies because it has a higher risk of failure and takes huge investments. However, the riskier projects are those that can change the world and your financial status, if they succeed.
Who do you think created the first smartphone with a touchscreen in the world? Many of the people I asked argued about Apple, Google, and others. The right answer is much further back in time – the author of the most modern product in the world at the moment is IBM. Their technology dates back to 1993 when they released the phone IBM Simon on the market for the first time. The risk the company took was huge because this was a brand new technology and they did not know how the public would receive it.
This type of phones became a hit about 17 years later. IBM Simon was way ahead of its time and it was left unappreciated. Of course, it paved the way for many other developers. Years later Apple took such a risk, too by developing its iPhone – something that no one knew whether and how the public will accept but also something that completely changed the world of mobile phones for good. In this case, the time of Apple’s technologies had come.
It is a fact that you can think of an entirely new service that never existed and no one has ever thought of needing it until you start offering it. Here are some examples:
The first artificial intelligence that designs your website on its own. Over the years a huge number of website builders have swarmed the internet, aiming to facilitate ordinary consumers in building their own website without having special IT skills. Of course, all these services were dreadful and set series of restrictions from a technological point of view. All of them offered a new type of service, created because of the presence of new objects.
The Grid, however, had a much bigger ambition. Its authors created artificial intelligence that creates your website on its own. You simply toss you data – photos, travel notes, articles, video files, products for sale, etc., while the artificial intelligence decides the design and positioning. In addition, if until yesterday your website used to be a blog but today you want it to sell products – the artificial intelligence decides how to modify the design to make this happen.
It is hard to understand it because many people do not know how to create their own website and have never heard of working with artificial intelligence unless they have read Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke’s great books. Currently, the service is offered under a $96 subscription fee.
On a global scale, online services have seriously outstripped us. You can literary do everything you can think of on the internet – if there is something that accidentally comes to your mind and you cannot find it, then you are either not searching for it well enough or you are about to develop a very successful business. Here are some interesting projects:
My favorite service. I am using it even while I am writing this article. It allows you to synchronize the files on your home computer with that at the office, with your laptop, or mobile phone. In addition, it also allows you to download your files online from any other computer via username and password. The files you need are always with you. This is also some kind of a protection against a system breakdown – if my computer is damaged by a short circuit, for instance, I am sure that what I have written is copied on at least two other places and I have lost nothing.
At first sight, it looks like a strange tourist service. The website allows you to look for plane tickets but also shows the results in a really innovative way in time channels and you can quickly see how long the flight will take, whether two flights overlap or there is insufficient time between them, or if there is a risk of spending a whole night at the airport. Ticket booking is the major function of the website but it attracts consumers with its unique visualization of the search results.
Have you ever watched an incredible movie or read a really great book and then got mad when you could not find others on the same topic? It happens very often to me and indeed I used to get very irritated because it is impossible to find similar works when searching by author, category, or title. This website, however, offers you 10 similar movies, books, and music bands after you submit one single title. When I searched for George Orwell’s 1984, I was immediately offered the following books – Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and the great Robert Sheckle’s The Status Civilization – all of them being anti-utopias by my favorite authors. This is a good means of finding wonderful books, movies, and bands that you will definitely like but have slipped under your radar until now.
And when speaking of online services, we eventually end up with those on which more than $20 billion is going to be spent annually in 2020, and namely – SaaS!