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Prelude - a trap set up by Google  (View post)

RiyAndroid [PersonRank 8]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
12 years ago4,025 views

TotLOL Says

<<Every start-up has a story. This is the story of Totlol. Because I did everything myself, it is also the story of almost two years of my life. It's the story of a flourishing service into which I put tons of work. It's the story of site for which I had high hopes. It's the story of how things unfolded when it has fallen into a trap set up by Google.

What?

A trap? Set up by Google?

Yep. It works in the following manner:

Google releases a public API. They watch what third-party developers do with the API and modify the Terms of Service (ToS) for that API in a way that prevents breakthrough potential. Google may then move to offer a similar service based on their platform rather than the API.

Unbelievable?

I thought so too. Until I experienced it first hand.

Read on >>

http://www.totlol.com/t/story

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Ron [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

This is the interview on this blog:
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-08-12-n21.html

This is Watch to Learn Chinese launch on this blog:
http://blogoscoped.com/forum/135352.html

This is Totlol's first mention on this blog:
http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-06-16-n57.html

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

BizAbh, thanks for your participation, please refrain from personal attacks, and if someone deletes your comment, please don't repost. You can attack an idea or argument here but not a person, see the forum rules:
http://blogoscoped.com/forum/rules.php

For more questions on this, or if you ever want to discuss the deletion of a comment, please email info[put at-character here]blogoscoped.com

Simon [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I think there are many lessons that can be learnt from this (even if they do not all apply in this case):

If your website relies on a 3rd party API, you are relying on something outside your control. If this is the case, try to use many APIs from different sources, not just one. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Patents do not work. Isn't the idea of patents to protect the inventor?

APIs are not a stable platform to build upon.

Every company has a reason for offering an API. Find out what it is.

Share the love. Give the API provider a reason to keep you. Giving money is the best bet.

Remember that every problem hides an opportunity.

Ken [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

"If your website relies on a 3rd party API, you are relying on something outside your control. If this is the case, try to use many APIs from different sources, not just one. Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Of course this is a reason not to use web services at all, so there has to be some reasonable expectation that one can use APIs, especially from a large company like Google.

Greg Linden [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

This is a sad story of innovation crushed under the boot of reality. Frankly, I think part of the blame falls on bloggers who idealistically promote mashups and APIs as some kind of happy ecosystem where substantial companies can be built if you just have a clever idea and the right combination of data streams.

The problem is that companies don't create web services because they dream of helping others and setting data free.

Companies offer web services to get free ideas, exploit free R&D, and discover promising talent.

That's why the APIs are crippled with restrictions like no more than N hits a day, no commercial use, and no uptime or quality guarantees. They offer the APIs so people can build clever toys, the best of which the company will grab – thank you very much – and develop further on their own.

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