“Data wants to be free,” says Doc Searls, “but value wants to be paid for,” and there’s no better illustration of this than the flap over Apple’s inept iOS6 Maps application:
I’d rather see Google offer Google Maps for sale, at a fair price, in the Apple Apps store. And I’d like to see Apple approve that product for sale, pronto.
Trust me: plenty of customers will pay. Google will not only drive home the real value of its Maps app (and all the good work behind it), but get some long-overdue practice at doing real customer service. Google’s high dependence on a single source of revenue — advertising — is a vulnerability that can only be reduced by broadening the company’s businesses. The future of selling direct has been looming at Google for a long time. There is a great opportunity, right now, to do that in a big way with Google Maps.
Meanwhile, Apple, which does sell direct, managed to stick it to its own customers while trying to stick it to Google. And what did they get for their trouble? This:
When ponies turn their backs on you, you’ve got problems.