Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We Have a Piper Down!

Yesterday I was attempting to customize my Flickr feed so that my Twitter posts would be more readable and I used Yahoo! Pipes to make it all happen.

The above buzzword-laden sentence is an example of flurry of intertwined concepts and technology that is rapidly becoming a cornerstone of my life. And I love it!

Yahoo! Pipes is very cool technology. A stunning example of driving adoption through value-added services that are intangibly monetized. (What a friggin' mouthful.) What I mean by that is that Yahoo! Is providing this service free of cost and what they are realizing is a slew of benefits that don't have direct immediate financial gains. The long-term gains of developer loyalty and driving adoption of their related services (Security, Mail, Blog, Reader, Calendar, etc.) will pay off in spades if they continue this trend.

During the early years of Windows there was the Win32 War. Some people thought 16-bit processing was better, others wanted 32-bit. Apple as a platform or Windows or OS2 or ? It became apparent that the way to win platform adoption was by having the most applications for that platform. You get the most applications by making it as easy as possible for developers to create those applications. This is the same today when the "platform" is a service you want used, and the "developer" is a consumer who points and clicks and publishes feeds.

The thing I found most intriguing about the Yahoo! Pipes offering is how easy they've made it to leverage all the outstanding work that others have created. Not only is there a massive wealth of capabilities directly in the tool, but the ability to clone other Pipes means the learning curve and information sharing is ridiculously easy. Whoever is running the show over there needs a serious raise, and a bigger budget. More of this and better press would put Yahoo! as a platform much more seriously in the running.

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