Perhaps you’ve launched a business as a third party developer of Twitter applications. Many of these are incredibly popular with small business owners, making life much easier to market to clients. For example, Social Oomph (formerly Tweet Me Later), allows you to pre-schedule tweets, so that you’re not stuck to your computer all day trying to keep followers updated. There are rumors that Twitter aims to put a stop to all third party development of apps. The San Francisco Chronicle reports this:
“Fred Wilson, a Twitter board member and the startup’s most important investor,…dropped a bombshell on Twitter’s third-party developers telling them to stop “filling holes in the Twitter product,” and start creating “something entirely new on top of Twitter.
We interpreted Fred’s post as a warning to developers Twitter could buy or build its own photo-uploader and mobile app, squashing third-party developers in its way.
So did a lot of Twitter developers.”
Let this be a warning to those who’ve built an entire business around Twitter, such as apps developers, to diversify their offerings as quickly as possible. It’s hard not to believe that Wilson didn’t mean what he said, since he serves on Twitter’s board. Once Twitter starts competing, you can count on losing some or a significant portion of your business.
A simple principle is at play here: don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Whether you’re a Twitter developer or not, it’s important to develop multiple sources of income and not put your faith in one client or one technology. The well does eventually dry up, as it looks like it will with Twitter.