Who stole the network effects?

It’s Dec 31, and time to see how my past predictions have done.

I predicted that XMethods would list less than 400 services by today, and lo-and-behold, that’s the case; they list 366.

Am I psychic? Have I hacked XMethods? Nope, I just performed simple linear extrapolation. Why linear? Because Web services have extraordinarily poor network effects; their growth has been roughly a function of time, not a function of the size of the existing population as you’d expect to see in an Internet scale network (like email, instant messaging, or the Web) which benefits from Metcalfe’s law.

I also predicted that the TAG would reject the Web Services Architecture document. Of course, that document hasn’t progressed very far, and will apparently only be published as a Note, meaning it will never be reviewed by the TAG.

So here’s a challenge to Web services promoters; make a prediction about the number of Web services available on the Internet by the end of 2004 and/or 2005. If they’re so great, then surely, at some point, there’s going to be thousands of them, right? When will that be? At this rate, they won’t get to 1000 until 2010 … assuming the hype – which is the only thing keeping them even linear, IMO – lasts that long.

0 thoughts on “Who stole the network effects?

  1. Pingback: Web Things, by Mark Baker » Blog Archive » Disappearing Web services

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