Thursday, January 4, 2007

"We can kid ourselves, but in the end it's probably porn that people want."

That is what the former CEO of Guba said last year. Guba, a Video-sharing website, had recently experienced a drastic decline in traffic. 2 of the 3 co-founders also depart the company including the CEO himself. Why? They talk about YouTube and other sector dominating services making it difficult to compete. It's interesting to read deeper and see where they got there start. They had achieved their original success by creating a usable user interface to browse videos that were found on Usenet. The BBS system is well known for its porn content. Basically, Guba was successful at creating a product that made it simple to download porn from Usenet. Then last April the company wanted a Google-like buyout so it began to filter out, you guessed it, porn. Unfortunately, a Rated-G(uba) all of a sudden wasn't useful anymore for its original purpose. My guess is that other tools quickly filled this void, making it difficult to gain the precious hits that it once enjoyed.

Companies often think of their software as bits and bytes and forget about the reason the software is successful. Whether it is porn or buying CDs or whatever, there is an experience people have when they use something. This breeds emotion. People looked forward to using Guba, and when all of a sudden it stopped doing the thing they enjoyed, they moved on. Maybe they were doomed by the stigma that porn leaves behind, but I'm sure that there could have been a way to prepare these emotional people for what was about to happen other than just filtering out what they wanted.

Kind of funny though. I think there may be a lot more of these smaller stories for Web 2.0 vs. a big bubble bursting all at once.

Read more about Guba's Pending Demise...

1 comment:

Steve Portigal said...

Content is King. I wonder if there's a corollary for this special case.

Content is King. Pr0n is the King of Kings? Or is that sacrilicious?

(and glad to be blogrolled near superficial!)