How Seesmic failed to find the revenue model

This chapter tells how if a company is born without a revenue model, it is difficult for it to have one when it is bought by another company.

That I will do very willingly, my lord," replied Sancho, "and let us return to my village in the company of these two gentlemen, who desire your good, and there we will give orders to make another sortie that will be of more profit and fame to us.

Don Quixote

Löic Le Meur, a friendly, intelligent and good-looking Frenchman, created Seesmic in June 2007, but it was far from his native France where he embarked on this adventure, he chose Silicon Valley, in the New World; Löic was already experienced in a thousand battles: B2L, RapidSite, Tekora or Ublog, attest to this. In the case at hand, Seesmic was born as a video-microblog application, which is why it is self-proclaimed as the Twitter of video; to be honest, Seesmic is much more than that, and it works quite well; so well that it has been receiving investments from Mike Arrington, Dave Winer, Martin Varsavsky, Ron Conway,... gentlemen friends who share a noble cradle in the Web 2.0 with Löic le Meur.

But there is an oversight along the way, the revenue plan, as far as this author knows, Seesmic lacks a revenue model, it relies on the success of its venture to be bought by a great lord capable of turning users into gold, and meanwhile it is looking for more money to sustain and improve the service.

The most recent history of the Internet is a basket of cases of monetization of externalities, businesses that have been profitable where least expected, although it is true that there are cases such as the purchase of YouTube by Google in which the purchasing company has not only not been able to take advantage of its new subject, but to maintain it is a great expense. To this historian, this case reminds him of purchases of Internet companies in the year 2000, purchases guided by the concentration of information in a portal, thinking that this concentration would be accompanied by users who would be charged passage fees. But it turned out that the Internet user was promiscuous in 2000 and remains so in 2009, so that what was not monetizable then is not monetizable today.


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