It’s only technology

by havoc

Interesting
article on web 2.0
from Nicholas Carr, in which he talks about
gratis-but-amateur-and-often-crappy
vs. costs-money-but-professional. Following links from IT Doesn’t
Matter
(which he also wrote, and I guess it caused a big furor), I found why
IBM and Dell are the most successful hardware companies
. The claim
in brief: because Dell is the cheapest possible adequate stuff, and
IBM is the most advanced premium-priced stuff, and everyone else is a
kind of half-assed compromise.

Half-baked thoughts:

  • Dell and IBM are both very Linux-entangled… somehow Linux is on
    both ends of this thing. Maybe because like “Intel Inside,” Linux is more a
    building block inside other technology solutions than it is a
    standalone entity.
  • Are Wikipedia and blogs comparable to Dell, and “New York Times, the Financial
    Times, the Atlantic, and the Economist” (Carr’s examples) like IBM?
    In other words, if you’re an “in the middle” publisher trying to
    charge for something of only moderate value, are you screwed?

I guess “low-cost provider” and “high-cost provider” are already
well-known business strategies if you’re an MBA-holder, so maybe this
isn’t news. I don’t really know what the received wisdom might be.

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2005-10.html#30)

My Twitter account is @havocp.
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