July 06, 2007 |
One of the coolest things about all the new service sites is that they seem to have led to the development of an entire field of cottage industries around them. Some are businesses extending their reach by using Web 2.0 companies, while others are all-new businesses that have sprung up, and still others stumble upon a money-making opportunity using 2.0 they hadn't anticipated.
File Blendtec under the last category. The commercial blender company, based in Orem, Utah, has just 186 employees, and under $40 million per year in revenue. Their marketing department wasn't formed until 2006, and their original commercial budget was $50. Yet their marketing videos, centered on a 70s-era game-show parody called Will It Blend? where the company's CEO, Tom Dickson, tosses just about anything you can think of, from iPods and Transformers to a meal of carnival food into one of the company's blenders to see if they will blend. The videos were first posted on YouTube in November of last year, and have netted the company an additional $18,000 in revenue, commanding $5000 each doing videos for companies who would like to promote THEIR business using Blendtec's campaign. Not bad for an original budget of $50, is it?
Next up, Moo.com. If you aren't familiar with Moo, odds are you haven't been to a 2.0 conference or spent a few hours a day on Flickr for a long period of time. Blending 2.0 services (like Flickr), 2.0 theory (long tail), and good old-fashioned technology (the printing press), this UK-based company will print images from your online account as mini-cards, notecards, and beginning 19 July, stickers. Want to use 100 of your images on your cards? No problem; for $19.99 USD plus $4.99 shipping, they will print 100 of your images on 100 cards, with whatever information you'd like on the reverse, and ship them to you anywhere in the world. In addition to using your Flickr gallery, you can also upload your photos directly to Moo, as well as using images on Bebo, Fotolog, LiveJournal, Habbo, Second Life, and Vox. And Moo is just one of the companies operating in this space; at least three other (Zazzle, Imagekind and Qoop) are piggybacking on Flickr's success alone.
Watching these companies spring up seemingly every day reminds me of a Mandelbrot set, with the myriad of smaller points branching off the starting point. It's pretty neat to see.