From Mapping the Web:
Up until recently, it seemed like everyone and their dog was launching a widget-based start-up or a web 2.0 company that served up widgets. The hope was that these widgets would spur viral distribution, creating widespread exposure. In many cases, this did occur. But now what? Where is the monetization? How can revenue be generated via these eyeballs? Most held on to the hope that eyeballs would attract potential acquisitors. In other words, their revenue model was an exit strategy in disguise – the infamous “web 2.0 revenue model”.
My friend Nathan at nPost just released a new job widget into the wild. It’s not a pure widget play, but an enabler of nPost’s main business model. It seems like a great way to market and distribute his service. Frankly, that’s the only way I’ve ever thought widgets (should) work; pure-play widget makers are an ephemera that are interesting only to the people who wear the web 2.0 undies. If you can’t monetize your traffic, you’re going out of business. Whether you shut the doors yourself, or let some sucker investor do the shutting for you, business without profit is, well….OK, I’ll give you General Motors, but the general rule is you need profit to stay in business.
Let’s keep widgets where they belong — as a distribution method, not as a business unto themselves.