Lightweight models and cost-effective scalability

Web 2.0 products or services today don’t follow conventional business, design or deployment methods. Conventionally, before venture capital is pumped into a launch, vast amounts of research and resources are required to conduct feasibility studies, consumer demand studies and so on, before a proof of concept can be developed or deployed. However with the emergence of Web 2.0, Open API, open source development toolkits and the like, it is becoming increasing easy to engage in rapid prototyping efforts that deliver products under very aggressive timelines. A particular brilliant example of this is reddit.com. Reddit features content that is voted up or down in priority based on community trends and interest in the particular news article or snippet over time.

Reddit opened up its source code to the Open Source community (downloadable here) under the Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), only 3 years after its launch, around June 2008. Though this might be considered as progressive by many, Reddit benefited almost instantly after going public with their develop base increasing from a mere 5 developers total, to the involvement of the entire Open Source community as a whole. But how did Reddit even get to be this popular? Simple. The answer lies in a simple, easy-to-use interface that served only one purpose – to transfer the ownership of relevant news to a community of voting patrons. Incremental functionality such as individual reddit channels was added almost 3 years after launch. The simplicity of the functionality is one of the significant factors in Reddit consumption.

The success of Reddit asks the questions: Is small really the new big? Can ventures truly start out of nowhere? How is this sustainable with just minimal advertising?

Please comment.

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About Shri Ram
Senior Project Manager with 8 years of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and business management experience in the private sector with key emphasis on program management, strategic project management, account management, vendor management and best-in-class product development utilizing PMBOK/PRINCE2/Agile Project Management Methodologies.

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