Point of impulse first came out as a concept as early as 2001 except no one really paid attention. Most Internet companies have innovated and programmed thousands of lines of computer code to get a transaction closer to the impulse point but only if it happens on their respective sites. The impulse point is relevant if it happens in their site otherwise, they're not interested as it may even benefit a potential competitor. The interesting perspective is that point of impulse can only controlled by a customer not by a site operator. Certainly, one can build enticements for customers to impulsively buy, register or act in some other fashion but the final decision always belongs to the customer, a human being.
In lemming-like fashion, everyone’s model of Internet prosperity is based on the accumulation of traffic and page views at some centralized destination website. The model is certainly valid and has lead to the creation of affiliate or click-through models wherein a usually larger web site pays some other sites some amount of monies to direct traffic back in order to consolidate traffic. It has also spawned annoying pop-up advertising and even more nefarious, spyware.
The first real challenge to this model was the development of the social networking sites wherein people can maintain unique identities, look and feel in some controlled environment. Social networking sites find that by nurturing many small sites which individually attract meaningless traffic, they build massive destination sites that consolidate eyeballs. However, we think that the irrelevant or contextual advertising flood will eventually destroy customer base it seeks to exploit. Simply put irrelevant advertising is annoying.
The latest phenomenon is hyper-fast growth of individual blogging and converting blogs from exercises in pure self expression to viable enterprises and in some cases big businesses in their own right. Less than 1% will become really big and 3% will build business around themselves. The DailyKos, TechCrunch and the Huffington Post are just the first emergent models of big success.
There will be more blogs and the vast majority of them will be small to medium traffic sites. But we cannot ignore their numbers and growth. More important, we cannot ignore the voices they represent. They are also very intimate with their readers. These blogs are the first democratic voices of the individual in the information age. These smaller sites are the sweet spot for GoodStorm.
GoodStorm’s business model thrives on the opposite of the consolidated traffic-aggregating model. To us, it’s about pushing the experience and value creation opportunities to the end nodes: blogs, non-profits, individual and small company websites. J. D. Davidson and L. M. Rees-Mogg had some interesting observations in their book, The Sovereign Individual. They predict that the information age will eventually liberate themselves from the notions of government.
While I don’t believe that we will achieve the realization of the sovereign individual any time soon (or necessarily at all), the rapid growth of the blogosphere presages the weakening of larger Internet players. Traffic becomes more dispersed and commerce itself will move to the end points of the Internet rather than the inflexible centers of power. GoodStorm will move rapidly to try and provide the diverse products, services and tools of commerce to empower and reward the end nodes: the blogger and smaller web sites.
MeCommerce™ is only our opening salvo. It is the beginning of our 96% doctrine.
My personal mission and GoodStorm’s mission are aligned and we intend to hack capitalism itself. We will force equity and fairness in the transaction chain so everyone makes a decent cut while still delivering value for the customer. Our beta program has been a phenomenal success and our beta testers continue to devise new ways to upset the status quo by their innovative feature requests and bug hunting. At the end of our beta, we can convincingly say that MeCommerce™ was truly the result community collaboration.