Twitter’s new Terms of Service

So after taking in $160M in VC funding, I guess Twitter’s management is starting to feel pressure to generate more revenue.  I’d previously discussed the “product vs. feature” issue, in the context of Facebook vs. Zynga, here. Twitter’s new terms of service are yet another example of the main hazard of developing a feature (i.e. a product that offers little value by itself but enhances someone else’s product), namely that the rules of the game can be changed on you at any time and you have little to no recourse.

As I’ve always wanted to have a law named after me but I’m not especially good at math or physics, I’m proposing an unscientific business “Law”

Dan’s Law

The likelihood of a platform product making a grab for the revenues generated by a third party’s “feature” increases exponentially with the feature’s revenues.

Corollary

The odds of the platform product making a grab for the revenues generated by a third party’s “feature”, approaches 1 as those revenues approach that of the platform’s.

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