How Opera became a big company and started crushing dreams

I'm used to Opera being a small company (although with around 700 employees, we are perhaps not "small" anymore?) which always has to keep fighting to be heard in a world dominated by huge corporations that basically own everyone's attention. I'm also used to seeing these giants enter the same markets as Opera, and wondering if they will really care as much about browsers and an open Web as we do.

Well, now I guess I can put things in perspective. …

The day of the Opera Unite launch, a blog post titled "How Tonido can help Opera browser to triumph browser wars – an Open Invitation to Håkon Wium Lie" appeared.

I was very happy about the successful Unite launch, but reading the blog post was bittersweet because the context it was originally written in was a world without Unite.

And why?

The company, CodeLathe, is behind a product called Tonido, which shares much of our vision for Opera Unite:

Originally posted by Tonido:

Tonido is "a smart way to share, sync and access your files, photos, music, calendar from anywhere and form your own private social network without relying on public online services.

We firmly believe that a handful of companies controlling everybody's data could lead to serious privacy issues and reduced freedoms.

So now Opera is the "big company" entering a market where a smaller player is trying to establish itself, and grow. Opera has been there too, as the small guy trying to make it in a world of big players. It can be a frustrating exercise, especially when the market is convinced that it's the end of you, and obituaries start popping up.

But I don't think this is necessarily bad news for Tonido at all.

In a way, Opera Unite validates their vision. It will also hopefully help to expand the market, just like, e.g., Chrome led to an increase in downloads and users for Opera because it created more interest in alternative browsers.

In fact, there is no reason why Opera and Tonido can't work together when necessary. For example, should we standardize certain aspects of the technologies the two companies are working on? Should it be as easy as possible to port services/applications between the two platforms?

So rather than "crushing dreams" as the title somewhat misleadingly says, this could be a great opportunity to perhaps work together to make more people aware of what both Opera Unite and Tonido have to offer.

Now, as Opera grows we will increasingly risk entering markets or areas where smaller companies are trying to establish themselves. But I hope that rather than being bad news, Opera entering a market will help that it grow, and make enough room for several products and companies to thrive.

There should be room for more than one player in any market.

By the way, Tonido has at least one product we can't really compete with 🙂 Check out the TonidoPlug, a "tiny, low power, low cost home server that allows you to access your apps, files, music and media from anywhere".

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6 thoughts on “How Opera became a big company and started crushing dreams

  1. msshill writes:@deadHarlequin Did anyone, including Opera, ever say that it shouldn't be possible to bundle anything in general?Is Opera a monopolist?Did Opera break the law by adding Unite?No to all of the above, right?Then what are you whining about?Microsoft broke the law by abusing their monopoly. Opera has no monopoly. Even a child should be able to tell the difference.Your mental capacity is evidently below that of a child.

  2. clak writes:Consumers love competition. Competition is good for both Opera and Tonido…

  3. Anonymous writes:Well, knowing Opera (we need our own mail client, we need our own bittorrent client, we need our own…) there won't be any room for Tonido.

  4. heh writes:So are you morons saying that there is only ever room for one product in any market? So why are there 5 "major" browsers if there is only room for one according to you?Of course there's room for Tonido. Just like there's room for many different car manufacturers in the car market.

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