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Business - Written by on Monday, January 18, 2010 9:01 - 3 Comments

Denis Hancock
Would you rather own Yelp.com or Milo.com?

One of the major themes we’re exploring in our research this year is how to take a platform approach to business strategy. Two of the more interesting ones i’ve been researching lately are both driving hyper-local commerce, but doing so in very different ways. The first is Yelp, which has developed a collaborative platform centered on a community of people—who we call ‘prosumers’—sharing their opinions and ratings of local service providers. The other is Milo, which has developed an analytics platform that uses data from local retailers to show customers where they can find a particular product, filtering results by both proximity and price.

So at a high level, the major difference between the two is simple. The core of Yelp’s competitive advantage is it’s community of contributors; the core of Milo’s competitive advantage is driven by it’s inventory data. Both, of course, help people find products or services to purchase in their local area. My question to wikinomics readers is simple – given the option, which of the two would you prefer to own – and why? I’ve got a few of my own ideas on this, but would like to hear what other people think first…


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Jan 18, 2010 11:18

I have Yelp as an app on my iPhone and browse it when in different areas looking for things. Never actually visited a business due to it’s being listed by Yelp, but handy for browsing and seeing what is nearby

Mark A Carbone
Jan 25, 2010 16:50

I would argue there are 4 platforms to consider now.






I would want to investigate the long-term potential of Blippy and then FourSquare. I believe to truly find out what people value and believe in you monitor where they spend their time and money.

I don’t think FourSquare is the next Twitter though. It’s fun and as Peter Kim says, is a great example of Social Business Design – I call it Social Enterprise Design – but it’s not yet a utility of any sort.

Blippy is far more transparent than anything I’ve seen to date. It will never become mainstream due to the data being shared but a mashup of the 4 platforms together would be an amazing home run that I would buy.

I love your line of thinking. You got my brain going. Thank you

Feb 17, 2010 16:12

Yelp. Unfortunately, Google beat me to it. If it were mine I would use the Craig Newmark approach and do some good with it.

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