Listened to the latest
Gillmor Gang Show
, with Jonathan Schwartz as guest. Sun’s Schwartz is one very smart
cookie and a very effective speaker. The following quote in particular stood out for

“We [Sun] want a world where there are tons and tons of interesting, interactive iPod
equivalents – where people are doing interesting things with their devices attached to a
network. Why? Because that creates more demand for network services, where we
[Sun] can actually come in and do a good job at monetizing it with more scalable
hardware, more affordable storage or better infrastructure software.” [at about 46 min

He goes on to talk about “lots of added value” on the network, citing
telecommunications carriers / network operators who give away mobile phones in order to
sell services. He used the phrase “cost compression” several times near the end to
emphasize that businesses (like Sun and Microsoft) need to find new business models on
the network.

A lot of what Schwartz said (especially that last point) complements
the ideas that came out of my
interview with Tim O’Reilly
. Web services business models is a fascinating subject,
but rather than focusing on the bigco’s I prefer to look at how the little companies are
creating new opportunities in this Web 2.0 world. Companies like Bloglines, Flickr, Feedburner, The
Robot Co-op

And by the way (as Jonathan might say), an eBook Reader is one device begging
to be attached to the network. One problem is that there’s no
iPod-equivalent for eBook Readers
. There are many reasons for that, which I won’t go
into right now. My point for this post is that there are many potential
business opportunities for new companies to create network services around eBooks, should
the right platform ever be put in place (in the same sense that the iPod is a platform for
music services).