Monday, April 2, 2007

Gotta Love the Long Tail of Capitalism

I have always been fond of the phrase, found on Indexed, "Adventures in turnkey capitalism". It's a reference to one's ability to create mini businesses that monetize products like hats and shirts with your logo on them (e.g., Spreadshirt, Cafe Press, etc.), your photos (e.g., Flickr, Snapfish, Google Photos (Picasa), etc.), your web presence (e.g., Adsense, Amazon Associates, etc.) your books and DVDs (e.g., Amazon Advantage), your crap (e.g., eBay), etc.

A key part of the way that everyone wins in such arrangements is that the "parent companies" (those listed above) monetize the long tail of opportunities in those markets.

I just heard about another interesting company trying to do the same thing. Sonopia is an MVNO (a cell phone company like Virgin Mobile that doesn't own its own network but piggy backs on that of another company) that allows one to create a branded cell phone network with branded handsets and a variety of service plans. The service uses Verizon Wireless' network. You then get a percentage of the revenue for the organization for which you set it up, e.g., a local little league team, a church, a volunteer group, etc. I personally think this is pretty cool.

For more information, see this Business Week article or their website.


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