22 thoughts on “Can Browser Plug-ins Be a Business?”

  1. The most successful browser plug-in business that I can think of is Sidestep. It gained huge early distribution as a plug-in and then developed a popular website off the back of this service. Some could say it was too slow in migrating the plug in to a fully fledged website, but $200m ain’t bad. http://gigaom.com/2007/12/20/kayak-sidestep-merge/ .
    I think the trick is riding an early, cheap distribution opportunity and then evolving to control more of your own destiny and turning a feature into a company. If the browser plugins above can do this, then I think they’ll be some winners. Come to think of it, the same goes for all the facebook and iPhone apps out there. A few (but not many) will no doubt migrate to the web and become standalone businesses.


  2. Om,

    I know you probably do not want to hear this but the best plug-in by far is AdBlock. Now, I see a lot of white space when I visit most media sites – including yours. Not to worry, I am still supporting GigaOm by attending the conferences. Cheers.


  3. Its absolutely a viable business.

    The browser, as we know, is THE most used application on the desktop today. If applications within say a facebook environment have a shot (i.e. slide, rockyou), the browser plugins can be lot more powerful. The plugins which are apps within another app, they can take full advantage of the pc computing power and advantage of the fact that they are co-resident with the most used application. once installed and activated, the eyeballs will be there.

    the toolbar business for search providers have been a huge success.

    Yoono is another good example.

    Browsers like flock are taking plug-ins/addons to a whole new level as well.

    net – net will totally work.

  4. We in the IE and Chrome browser world rely on Ad Muncher from Australia, which does a fine job in my browsers for years, and has great support. The perfect platform-independent plugin still missing is a bookmark manager supporting all browsers, incl. Opera. And of course ad-block for mobile.

  5. I believe that browsers still lacks the tight integration requied to create a powerful applcation. Right now the most you can do to get some info, launch some application or at most stumple. We have some way to before we see browser as the centralized application of your desktop and that tiem it will give us a lot of integration opportunity.

  6. Om:

    I have been using Cooliris for the past 6 months now, and I absolutely LOVE this product. I find myself using it more and more. I wish they would allow me to surf HTML pages in this interface too, then I would spend all my time in this interface.


    BTW, I really like the Ads in their interface. They are the best Ads on the web.

  7. Given that the browser is becoming more OS like, plugins behave more or less like an app-install. So it’s not really much of a radical departure

  8. i started using piclens for over 6 months now and i find it absolutely amazing!!its so easy to use and lets me scan 100’s of videos in a jiffy!! Kudos to cooliris!!!

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