I’m not a big one for predictions, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to suggest that “local” is a buzzword we’ll be hearing more and more of in 2011. The online component of the small and local business market is massive and underserved, and a bevy of companies are rushing in to take advantage of the opportunity. Who will win the battle for local? Yelp? Google (Hotpot)? Facebook? A company we’ve yet to hear of? In my opinion, the market is so massive and diverse that it’s no longer a zero sum game. In 2011 there’s room for everyone in the sandbox, and although some will end up taking more share than others, we’re at least 3-5 years away from anyone rolling up the market and staking their claim as king.
I’m very excited about what lies ahead for 2011, both as a consumer of local-focused products and an owner of a company in the space. For the last 18 months we’ve been building up a customer base and learning what works and what doesn’t, while we determine which direction we take the TurnSocial product. Over the past few months a clear path has emerged, and it’s built around the local business marketplace. I look forward to sharing more about our strategy as time goes on.
In any case, that’s my prediction for the coming year. I’m very excited for what lies ahead in 2011 – although times are hard for many of us, I see opportunity everywhere I look and am consistently amazed by the innovation I see all around me. The best part is, we’re just getting started.
So here’s to a great year ahead…cheers! Happy New Year.