The Gray Hair Speaketh

Advice that is largely Unsolicited..

Rediff.com does it again: wants to ape the next new shiny thing.. !

Why do they do this??

I have said this before and I say it again.

Because I have seen this before and I see this YET AGAIN!

Rediff.com always wants to be LIKE someone else.

And mostly like the best new thing that has happened out there, and is already established and famous.

And THEN, Rediff.com will come with its version of the same thing!

I have seen ALL of these transformations at Rediff.com:

1. Early on, they went and replicated virtually, the complete Yahoo.com look. Directory and news and email and everything. They wanted to be India’s Yahoo…

2. Ebay became big and Rediff invested in their own auction business, an Ebay look alike.  Rediff wanted to be India’s Ebay then..

3. The Rediff.com interface was clustered like Yahoo’s or Indiatimes’. And then Google came along and showed what a clean, uncluttered interface can be like. And yes, we saw Rediff turning over into a clean and simple interface. No matter the fact that, where Google was fundamentally ONE big thing, viz. search, and it could offer that in a clean and simple screen, Rediff in fact, was a portal. And a portal needs to show more of its links and cater to users with different kinds of needs.

But then, Rediff wanted to be a Google that time!

4. Then came Facebook time. And after Facebook had probably gone past 300 mn user base or so, and was already the default, Rediff came up with their look-alike social network. Again Rediff now wanted to be a Facebook..

Once more, too little, too late.

5. And now they have done it one more time. In the space of daily deals and group buying, where perhaps, there are 32 players already, and the big daddy of the world, Groupon having come into India too, Rediff now wants people to do their deals on Rediff.

So Rediff now wants to be a Groupon!!

More than anything else, I feel sad.

Rediff.com really had a great opportunity, it was first off the blocks in India, it had a great start, it got the Nasdaq IPO (that’s the only reason its been able to hang on, by the way – the cash in the bank!) in time. It could have been India’s most prolific and default dot com address.

And yet, it chose to be a Yahoo, an Ebay, an Amazon, a Google, a Facebook and now a Groupon..

It NEVER tried to be a Rediff.com of its own!!

What do you think? Any alternate views??

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April 27, 2011 - Posted by | Business Model, Ecommerce, Social Networking | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. It’s sad to see how companies are behaving when they start getting bigger. They forget their start-up roots and just go with the flow of the new “cool” thing in the net…

    How many big companies have started their own groupon-like thing now?

    Comment by José Sáez | April 28, 2011 | Reply

    • Jose,
      There are large number of Indian brands which are groupon look-alikes.
      Names like SoSasta, DealsForYou, Fashion And You, Taggle, Snap Deal, etc. are examples.

      Comment by Sanjay Mehta | April 28, 2011 | Reply


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