Opera drinks the Googlejuice, finds business model

Don't ask me about my business modelAfter my buddy Om Malik did some digging, it turns out that Opera’s move to make its browser free had less to do with its community and more do to with inking an increased compensation deal with Google. This makes plenty of sense in terms of Opera’s longer term viability (paying for browsers is simply no longer an option — sorry OmniWeb) but also suggests that my spidey-senses are becoming more and more savvy:

Though they claim that “Opera fans around the globe made this day possible,� for some reason, that sentiment rings hollow to me.

So now that we have Mozilla Corporation and Opera showing that a viable business is possible through leveraging various browser defaults, it makes it somewhat easier to begin to answer a question we get a lot.

It’s interesting to note that Opera CEO’s answers to various interview questions could be considerably generalized to apply to many of the browsers currently competing for mindshare:

[Browsername] Watch: [Browsername] is a commercial company; how do you plan on generating revenue from the desktop browser?

[Browser Company CEO]: Through search and service deals. We will continue to provide services that enhance the browser experience. We will continue to add services, as long as they improve the overall user experience. The user comes first.

Post script: As for wrestling the number one spot away from the giant gorilla, well, we’ll just have to see who executes best. I’m not entirely concerned about that personally, as I would rather be focused on building tools that are simple, elegant and relevant to a good number of people. Seems to me if you start there, it won’t really matter whether you’re first first, third or eigth. How you got there would be just, based on the quality of your work and not the number of exclusive OEM deals you might strike. Heh, but I digress.

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Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

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