Archive for the 'Points of Control' Category

Jaimey Walking Bear

UPDATE: The webcast was a great success. Thank you to all who participated!

Please join John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly for a free Webcast – “Points of Control: The Battle for the Internet Economy” on October 27 at 1pm PT.

More than any time in the history of the Web, incumbents in the network economy are consolidating their power and staking new claims to key points of control. It’s clear that the internet industry has moved into a battle to dominate the Internet Economy.


John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly will debate and discuss these shifting points of control as the board becomes increasingly crowded. They’ll map critical inflection points and identify key players who are clashing to control services and infrastructure as they attempt to expand their territories. They’ll also explore the effect these chokepoints could have on people, government, and the future of technology innovation.

Join us for this live broadcast taking place just weeks before Web 2.0 Summit begins and contribute to this important conversation. Be sure to visit the Points of Control map to see how John and Tim are visualizing the lay of the internet landscape.

ws-webcast-infoAccess to this webcast is available to registered participants at no cost. In order to provide you with this free service, you may receive additional information about Web 2.0 Summit and other events produced by O’Reilly Media and UBM TechWeb.

Jaimey Walking Bear

We recently launched a new feature on our popular Points of Control, the Map Acquisition Mode. Add your favorite company as a target for acquisition by one of the major players in the network economy, and see who else is being added — and debated — in real time.

Pose your acquisition smackdown by suggesting which takeovers — hostile or friendly — you’d most like to see. Should Apple grab up a social network to make Ping all that it’s promising? Do you still think Google will buy Twitter?

Other map features:

Territory Mode – click on company icons to view the history and significance of each company.

Movements – see which directions the major players are headed.

Comments – make your own observations and suggestions — right on the map. We listen to your feedback and make corrections based on the collective knowledge of this community.

Vote – support good ideas and voice your opinion about the bad ones.

Points of Control Map

Get Talking! Bring the conversation to Twitter using the #w2smap hashtag, or post directly to Twitter and Facebook from the map. The Web 2.0 battle rages on, so let’s explore, expand, and explain what your predictions are.

Jaimey Walking Bear

In 2009, 81.3 million users transacted $68.7 billion in mobile payments, and that number is expected to reach $633.4 billion with 490 million users by 2014*. But mobile is just the tip of the payment “Point of Control” iceberg. Online commerce is a hotbed of opportunity; eBay, PayPal, Amazon, Google, Apple, gaming platforms, and credit card companies are gearing up to own their share of this arena.

Some of the industry leaders who we’ll be talking to at Web 2.0 Summit 2010, about the future of online commerce and payment services include:

John Hayes – American Express,  Scott Thompson – PayPal, Inc,  Michael Rubin – GSI Commerce,  Frank Quattrone – Qatalyst Partners
Andrew Mason – Groupon, Jack Dorsey - Square,  Mark Pincus - Zynga,  Tony Hseih – Zappos.com

Will PayPal continue with its ambitions against larger national and global competitors? How do we calculate and optimize the quickly vanishing distinction between online and offline payments? What strategies will the major credit card companies employ to “get back in the game”? Will mobile payment services like Square move beyond hardware systems, and will gaming platforms reach beyond virtual payments? Should government get into this space as well by expanding current auto-payment systems as used to pay toll fees? Is our society ready to let go of physical currency?

Along with a close look into payment systems, we’ll focus on mobile and sensor platforms, distribution, the social graph, location services, data transport, and advertising, among many others. Request an invitation today to join your peers at the once-a-year gathering of the Web’s most influential leaders.


As themes for conferences go, Points of Control is one of our favorites. Our industry over the past year has been driven by increasingly direct conflicts between its major players: Apple has emerged as a major force in mobile and advertising platforms; Google is fighting off Microsoft in search, Apple in mobile and Facebook in social; and Facebook itself finds itself on the defensive against Twitter and scores of location startups like Foursquare.

Nor are the Internet’s biggest players the only ones in the game – the rise of tablet computing has revived nearly every major hardware and handset manufacturer, and the inevitable march of online payment and commerce has roused the financial services giants as well. You know we’re in interesting times when American Express is considered an insurgent in its own industry.

The narrative is so rich, it struck us that it lends itself to a visualization – a map outlining these points of control, replete with incumbents and insurgents – those companies who hold great swaths of strategic territory, and those who are attempting to gain ground, whether they be startups or large companies moving into new ground. Inspired in part by board games like Risk or Stratego, and in part by the fantastic and fictional lands of authors like Tolkien and Swift, we set out to create at least an approximation of our industry’s vibrant economy. (And yes, we give a hat tip to the many maps out there in our own industry, like this one for social networks).

The result of our initial efforts is pictured above, you can go to the complete map here. We very much consider this to be “for your consideration,” an initial sketch of sorts, a conversation piece that we hope will garner a bit of your cognitive surplus. In other words, we designed the map so you can give it input and make it better. Over time, we plan to revise the visualization, adding various layers of companies and trends.

But you have to start somewhere. We put a stake in the ground by declaring a number of key “points of control” and visualizing them as land masses.

From top to bottom, and in reasonably defensible order: We start with the Clouds of Infrastructure, securing the top of the map. We then cross the Oceans of OS and UI to The Platform Plateau, where you’ll find those aforementioned hardware players. From there you’ll see two major “continents” of service providers, groups of companies that leverage cloud, OS/UI, and hardware platforms to deliver the services we now take for granted.

The continent on the left consists of location, social, identity and activity stream services. On the right is the continent of search, commerce, and content services. If you feel like the two are interrelated, you’re certainly not alone. We had to fight the temptation to create a Pangea, if only for aesthetic purposes.

Below the service layer is what might be called the firmament of marketing – the SubContinent of Advertising Platforms that have provided much of the oxygen to the networked economy so far. And off to the right of that is Enterprise Island, an important land mass to be sure, but one that could certainly command its own map (and may well, in time).

All these masses interact with each other, a fact you will see by the various arrows indicating how owners of one territory – Apple in Mobile, for example – are pushing into new strategic points of control – Apple in advertising platforms, for example.

Built on top of Google’s map API, this initial map has two layers of detail. Zooming in from the initial view one can see a second layer where more details emerge, including pods of insurgents headed for the beaches of various territories. We’ve also thrown in a few jokes, to keep things light, and encourage you to add yours in comments.

In the coming weeks, we plan to add a game of sorts – we’ll be asking you to lay out which companies the incumbents should be buying as they circle each other across this landscape. From the tiny to the massive, we’d like to see who you think will be snatched up next.

For now, we know that we have certainly missed things – probably a lot of things. And no doubt our initial choices of players, and the amount of territory they control, is worthy of debate (as is, most likely, our sense of humor). That’s why we want your input. We’ve created a commenting layer throughout the map, and we will be incorporating your input into future revisions. We’re not happy with the name for the Location Based Services territory, for example, and we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with the carriers (who isn’t!?).

We’ve put the entire map under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means we want you to take this idea and add to it, making it better. Once our amazing development partners at Blend Interactive catch their breath, we also plan to release the code and documentation, so you can create your own maps as well.

Our thanks to the team at Blend who worked with me to bring this vision to reality, and to Janetti Chon, my producer, who kept it on track, and the entire team at Web 2.0 for bearing with us as we brought this first iteration to fruition.

We hope you enjoy “Points of Control” and add to it with a comment of your own. Also, bring the conversation to Twitter using hashtag #w2smap. We’ll be listening!

Creative Commons License
Points of Control: The Map by Web 2.0 Summit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Jaimey Walking Bear

john-battelle-left-1With more than half a billion people actively using its service, Facebook clearly owns the dominant position in the crucial point of control we’ve come to call The Social Graph. Regardless of controversy, the company’s Open Graph protocol has been widely adopted, solidifying Facebook’s lead in social, and positioning the company to challenge Google’s dominance in both ad networks and search.

Google is certainly aware of the threat, and is both bolstering its Buzz offering and, according to many, preparing an all out response to Facebook code-named Google Me. Meanwhile, Twitter has consolidated its grip on what it calls the “Interest Graph,” a public version of the social graph based on what people are doing (and where). Twitter’s advertising platform, Promoted Tweets and Trends, is showing early promise, and will be rolled out to third party developers shortly.

Web giants Microsoft and Yahoo are taking different paths. Though in an advertising partnership with Facebook, Microsoft has yet to declare its social graph strategy — some believe its Xbox Live and IM platforms will play central roles. Yahoo has gone all in with Facebook, integrating the Open Graph deep into its massive site.

Insurgents and upstarts are eager to join the fray, with location based social networks such as Foursquare and Gowalla hoping to become the next big thing in social. And don’t forget the international players — TenCent, Baidu, and DST hold dominant positions outside the US.

At Web 2.0 Summit this year, we’ll discuss the social graph as a strategic territory. We’ll also cover related points of control such as mobile platforms, distribution, identity services and payment systems, location services, data transport, and advertising. Join the leaders of the Network economy in a three day conversation that promises to once again set the agenda for our ever-changing and fascinating industry. Request an invitation today and secure your seat.

Our Best,
John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly and the Web 2.0 Summit Team

Jaimey Walking Bear

Recently we posted about mobile as one of those strategic industry chokepoints that have the big companies and newcomers vying for control. At Web 2.0 Summit 2010, we’re bringing some of the foremost industry experts in to talk about the future control of the mobile space – including Ev Williams, Mary Meeker, Shantanu Narayen, and Mark Pincus, each of whom lit up the stage in 2009:

In addition to Mobile, we’re also tackling other major industry Points of Control including distribution, the social graph, identity services and payment systems, location services, data transport, and advertising ecosystems.

We hope you can join the conversation in November. Request an invite to Web 2.0 Summit 2010 today.

Jaimey Walking Bear

Perhaps the most heated battle in today’s Internet economy is the fight for mobile platforms. Mobile device shipments will surpass PC units by 2012*, U.S. ad revenues on mobile devices are streaking toward the billion dollar mark, and e-commerce purchases via mobile devices are booming (mobile e-commerce in Japan, for instance, brought in $200 million last year).

The battle in the mobile arena will inform the strategies of hundreds of companies and billions of dollars in market share. Will it be based on open or closed ecosystems? How will identity and security be managed? And how might mobile inform the current debate on privacy? At Web 2.0 Summit this year, we’ll examine these questions and look ahead to how the big players and newcomers are battling for both niches and vast new territories in mobile. Speakers that will be delving into the discussion around mobile points of control include:

  • Jack Dorsey, Square
  • Even Williams, Twitter
  • Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley
  • Shantanu Narayen, Adobe
  • Susan Wojcicki, Google
  • Jeremy Stoppleman, Yelp

Looking beyond mobile, other hot topics for this year’s Web 2.0 Summit include distribution, the social graph, identity services and payment systems, location services, data transport, and advertising ecosystems. See the list of confirmed speakers, which we are constantly updating.

Web 2.0 Summit is returning to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco this year. Space is limited and attendance is by invitation only, so submit your request for an invitation today.

* Projections by Mary Meeker, alumni speaker and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Research, June 7, 2010