Dethroning the Internet Giants

January 20th, 2007 | Categories: blogs, marketing, markets, networks, social media, strategy, trends

On the net, there are several industries dominated by one major player. Some include video, search, books, social networks, auctions, and classifieds. If you are unaware of who the industry leader is in any of these categories, then you’re probably living under a rock. In any case, check your answers against my list:

These Internet powerhouses dominate their respective realms with little threat from the competition. Furthermore, in most cases, they’re surging even farther ahead of the competition as we speak.

So how do you dethrone these Internet kings? By slicing their product or service offering into verticals.

Chop, chop, chop. It’s the only way to compete. Any start-up looking to break into the above categories needs to carve out a niche and extract of subset of the larger player’s target market.

I touched on this concept a little bit in my post about the Evolution of a Hot Internet Space. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again and again and again… Verticals, fragmentation, and niches are what’s in store for the new web. Nobody can directly compete with the big guys right out off the gate. It’s certain death. But if they choose a smaller market, they can prosper.

Let’s look at potential niches within the big headings:

  • VIDEO - Vlogs, funny videos, news clips.
  • SEARCH - Product, forums, blogs.
  • BOOKS - Used, rare, comics.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKS - Age range, region, topic of interest.
  • AUCTIONS - Product type, region, auction type.
  • CLASSIFIEDS - By region… jobs, for rent.

As you can see, it’s easy break down the main categories into sub-groups. The hard part is creating a tailor-made service for the group.

An interesting point is focused around the marketing of the service. A generic offering is actually harder to market than a more specific service. Having ‘everyone’ as your target market is great, but doesn’t bode well for a marketing campaign.

Nowadays, blogs, blog communities, groups, forums, and niche interest sites are rampant. These make the task of marketing a targeted service much easier and more manageable. In addition, it’s also be much easier to locate and convert potential product evangelists and influencers.

So, next time someone says their target market is potentially everyone, tell them to grab a niche.


  1. Eric Berlin Says:

    I think this year will be a hot year for social news verticals to really take off.

  2. Friedbeef's Tech Says:

    Somehow I think they would get bought out rather than dethrone a king :)

  3. The Next Step for Search Says:

    […] Dethroning the Internet Giants […]

  4. Choose a Smaller Market Says:

    […] For more information on this topic, please read previous MappingTheWeb posts: Dethroning the Internet Giants and The Proliferation of Verticals.    […]

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