He thinks its "Nice for a business that has a handful of employees and no expenses, but it isn’t sustainable."
Handful of employees?
Low on the expense side?
Sounds like these guys. Yeah... definitely not sustainable.
Here are the problems, as he sees them:
"No barriers to entry. Anyone can copy your business."
How many web businesses out there aren't able to be copied? How many offline businesses out there can't be copied, other than regulated monopolies, like the electric company? (Although, I'm pretty sure I can buy my power from somewhere else, too, which I don't quite understand.) Anyone can copy anybody else's business, yes, but that doesn't mean they'll do it better.
"No barriers to exit. Users can easily leave your business for the next big thing."
Did I mention Randy works for Verizon? I guess he'd like us to sign two year contracts with all of our web services. I can leave Skype anytime I want to use Google Talk, too... but I won't, b/c Skype provides a better service, allowing me to make domestic phonecalls for free. Oh, you could see Craigslist for that, too. I think, in the future, we won't see very many businesses that lock in their users at all... hopefully even wireless... and just compete on making them not want to leave.
"Nothing of value is owned."
So Feedburner owns nothing of value? Except, well... most of the rights to run RSS for major publishers, and, um, all the RSS ad relationships they signed up... the blogger relationships. Yes, they could quit anytime, but its not like anyone else could just replicate that overnight. Granted its not a bunch of fiber in the ground or rooftop towers, but who wants to own that stuff anyway?
"No control over your own destiny. Being completely
dependent on “partners” (I use this term loosely) that have no
contractual obligations to each other is dangerous."
Google, believe it or not, isn't in control of its own destiny. We could all decide tomorrow that we'd rather not have Google crawl our content. Advertisers could all say online advertising isn't worth it... and the company would be dead in the water. You're always dependent upon someone else... even if its just your customers. You can't force anyone to do anything forever.
So, I basically agree with all of his depictions of the landscape, but I look at them as reality, not a list of problems.