Last decade’s big winner in terms of a system that scales infinitely and is as profitable as possible was Google.
Free search engine, let people search (Freemium) and if those who are in the search results (or not) want to jump queue to the top, let them pay.
This decade’s (or at least the big part of it) pie was given to Facebook. Although even they had their problems, their system was infinitely scalable as well.
And Sheryl Sandberg’s path to profitability was, indeed, one of the biggest move of the decade. To blend ads into the usual way of doing things and to reward good behaviour (i.e. ads that don’t really look like ads) turned out to be… infinitely scalable and profitable.
What’s next? No one can tell. I would look at TikTok without a doubt, if they go full-speed-ahead into their e-commerce tests. As I’ve said before, the marriage between a media and an e-commerce company is one made in heaven — and one that’s heavily heavily underestimated these days.
Alibaba is riding the wave because of this marriage — not fantastically strong on the media side but still strong. TikTok, should they get their e-commerce game together (which I think is what they’re really wary about), can get their big pie in the next decade (which by the way begins in… 3 months from now on!).
But that’s just a prediction. I’d be very happy to be surprised to see some other company I’ve never heard of at this point take their big cake of infinite-scale-massive-profitability!
P.S: For those who don’t know what TikTok does when it comes to e-commerce, it’s fairly straightforward. People consume content and the publishers of that post have options to integrate one-click-away online products.
Whether you’re an influencer and you make affiliate commission.
Or you’re Hollister and you list your own products — both can work. And they do, since you get people’s attention first and then you deliver them buying options based on what they watched.
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