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August 8, 2011

最近和一些想创业的,在创业的,还有创业成功的人聊,发现“平台”这个词儿特别的时髦。基本上每个人都在说,我们建立XXX这样一个平台,以后事情就好做了。

平台当然好,我搭台,你唱戏。你火了,我收税;你演砸了,我的平台还在,换人继续演。不过,平台多了,最后估计就是,一地的空台子,没有演员。

February 27, 2010

Robert写了《思考:未来的web服务是否还需要用户注册的部分?》,提出中小型web服务可以不单独建立注册模块,一个可能的方法,是使用google或者facebook的账户服务。真的是有趣的问题大家都会考虑,我当年也写过《接着说facebook:facebook能成为网络身份证吗?》,当时马上要去深圳出差,没有继续写下去。文章的最后两段,其实说明了我对这种类似Microsoft Passport的第三方认证的考虑。

先说一下我对问题的理解吧:基本上,网络服务和用户之间,还是在沿用当年UNIX终端验证用户的方法:用户名+密码。非常简洁有效的方法,明码的用户名解决了名字空间里面冲突的问题,密码用来验证用户的身份。这是一个双向的契约模型:用户名用来唯一确定用户,密码作为主机和人之间的身份契约。

随着网络服务的增加,用户需要维护的契约越来越多,不仅在用户名的名字空间冲突逐渐增加,用户不得不选取各种用户名来代表自己,密码也成为更大的负担。为了减轻用户负担,微软提出了第三方认证的passport方法。基本上就是把各种锁的各个钥匙,变成微软一家的万能钥匙,只要开了微软这把锁,后面的锁都开了。

我在《接着说facebook:facebook能成为网络身份证吗?》一文的最后,给出了攻击这种万能钥匙的方法。就是假扮成passport的合作伙伴,在自家门面上,挂上和其他真正合作伙伴一样的锁,盗取用户的万能钥匙。这个办法不是我发明的,很早就有人用这个办法,骗取人们去看谁在MSN上面block了他们,然后盗取MSN密码。类似的,meebo这种让人们输入各种聊天工具密码的网站,也很容易被人伪造而盗取密码。

总结下来,这种万能钥匙失效的原因,是把原来的双方(主机和用户)契约,变为了三方(主机,用户,万能钥匙提供商)契约。三方契约本身并没有错,错在契约失效的时候,如何控制损失。在双方契约(用户名+密码)模型里面,用户和某个网站之间如果契约失效(如密码被盗),用户的损失局限于所有和这个网站相关的资料;而在万能钥匙的三方契约里面,一旦密码被盗,损失的是用户的万能钥匙,后面所有依赖这把钥匙的锁,全都可以被攻破。

尽管万能钥匙的方法不可靠,但是还是会有提供商去推广,因为掌握了用户的行为,就意味着商业机会。不过这种和用户利益背道而驰的方法,我不看好。契约过多的问题还是存在的,也会有新的方法最终解决这个问题。

September 1, 2009

前几天在网上看东西,找到一本书,因为到处都找不到免费版本,最后还是跑到Amazon上面去看了一下。忽然看到说如果买Kindle的版本,马上就可以看。我当时突然有点冲动,想买kindle。

说起来这个电子墨水阅读器,我从06年就开始跟踪,不过一直不知道这个东西有什么特别好的。直到那天,我急着要看书,不想等Amazon送书的时候,才明白电子书的好处 - 和书一样的功能,但是更快捷。

说到这个,其实是想总结一下已经成功的移动/互联网公司的特点,其实他们有两个共同点:

1. 提供独特的价值。就是普通人学习一下就说,我肯定会去用的。

比如google提供优质搜索内容;网络购物提供快捷的购买体验和无限的选择;手机提供随时随地的联系方式;LinkedIn提供找人服务;craigslist提供个人广告服务。

2. 进入已有的商业领域,但是提供了更方便/便宜的方法。

Google的搜索广告比别的搜索更精准;amazon的购买选择更多,而且没有出门的麻烦;paypal提供支付方式而不必担心被盗用;短信比手机更便宜,而且可以在任何环境发送而不必担心嘈杂;iTunes比CD更便宜更方便获取;kindle买书更快。

注意这个第一点里面,一定要是用户说:我会去用。比如email / chat 和facebook以及其他SNS相比,email/chat是用户希望去和朋友联系,facebook这些SNS是朋友拉我去联系,高下立显。