Over the weekend, a good old fashioned bitchmeme broke out on Techmeme after Loic Le Meur asked for a feature within Twitter that would be based on authority (aka the number of Twitter followers) that someone has.
There was a lot of spirited and enthusiastic dialogue about the pros and cons of such a search landscape. Perhaps the most impressive thing was someone, Jon Wheatley, actually created a search engine called Twitority that, in many ways, meets Loic’s needs.
You can read about Twitority on Techmeme but I was pretty blown away that Wheatley created it in only 12 hours. Talk about instant gratification and agile development!
This is what makes the Web 2.0 environment so interesting and so challenging. It’s interesting in that an application – albeit fairly simple – can be created in no time at all to meet a specific need. It used to takes weeks and months for this kind of thing to happen; now it occurs in hours.
It’s also troubling because barriers to entry are so low these days. At one time, you could secure first-mover advantage by developing something that would take rivals some time to duplicate. Now, the competitive window has dramatically shrunk. As a result, it’s not features that are going to win the day but sizzle, social media expertise, customer service and usability.