eBay is basically an auction online. It’s a great idea, I wish I’d had it, but it’s still an auction, same kind we’ve had for a million years.
Jeff Jarvis points us to a new feature in Google Docs. Think this through for a moment:
You send an email to your permission list. It points to a spreadsheet online. People can fill it out without logging in. You get the summarized data back, and can present it as a chart, a graph or just run with the numbers themselves. The depth of analysis you can generate is far deeper than a simple poll. My guess is that 99% of the people who use it will do a simple one dimensional poll. It’s more powerful than that.
Now, what else do we need?
How about a simple system that lets you run a new kind of auction for an event with limited seating? Say you want 200 people to come to a networking event, the sort of thing that’s no fun if only a dozen or two show up… Instead of charging $50 a ticket, why not charge $1 for the first five tickets, $2 for the next five, and on to $500 for the last ten? You’ll earn just as much (if not more) but reward the brave who sign up early. (The folks who like to wait until the last minute ‘to be sure’ end up paying for the privilege). It’s easy to imagine a simple interface to set up whatever graduated pricing model you’d like.
Or, how about a geography-based system for pricing? Many services are sold by a flat fee, but add a zip code and a map and it could completely change the pricing model.
Why don’t airlines have tools in place to make it easy to integrate charter flights with conventions so flights run when (and where) people are going? Flights for passengers instead of passengers for flights…
There was a lot of this discussed 9 years ago. The world wasn’t ready. It is now.
I guess my point is that this is just the beginning of using internet tools to change the world we interact with, as opposed to trying to make it easy to interact with the standard world using the Internet.