Widget companies, virtual goods, and advertising

by Ian Rosenwach on 8.4.2009

“Think of us like an e-commerce business,” says Keith Rabois, Slide’s vice president of strategy and business development.

Internet Start-Ups Diversify Their Business Models – WSJ.com

Keith Rabois of Slide means e-commerce in terms of virtual goods. This may make sense internationally, especially Asia, but is a pretty big bet on an uncertain market in the US. Their main competitor, RockYou, defines itself as follows-

“We are not a widget company. We are a distributed media company,” says Ro Choy, chief revenue officer at Rock You. “The reality of our company is that we were not a widget company. We make money through our relationships with advertisers and partners.”

So we’ve got an ad company vs. an e-commerce company that sells virtual goods. I like the idea of Slide positioning itself in between an actual transaction but don’t know if virtual goods will be a break-out market any time soon in the US.

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