Affiliate Sites Should Be Like Kayak is the best affiliate site I can think of. To me, an SEO site draws in users who want information about a product, directs them to the product they want, and collects a fee from the seller for sending them a customer.

The economic logic, which Kayak fulfills perfectly, is that e.g. Delta Airlines specializes in repairing planes, organizing flights, purchasing gas at the right time, hiring pilots, planning routes, … so many things. But not telling the consumer what’s the best way to get from A to B. Delta couldn’t even credibly solve that problem.

But they can pay somebody else to handle that last step to the consumer. Kayak figures out what are the exact questions that a consumer is going to ask, and what are the kinds of answers they want. That also makes it simpler for the airlines because the airlines can see, through Kayak, the lens that consumers are looking through.

I have been trying to come up with another website idea that fits these parameters.

  • Big market — people spend a lot of money on this decision;
  • Currently, it’s really annoying to decide which choice to make;
  • People will make the final buying decision on the web;
  • The solution can be presented on the web.

But a simpler way to put it is, I ask myself: What’s the next Kayak? What’s another industry that I could make a Kayak for?

Something remarkable about Kayak is:  it wasn’t the first entrant to the market. Just like Facebook was preceded by Friendster, Kayak was preceded by Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, SkySearch, … to an investor it would have looked like a saturated market. But Kayak just kicks so much #ss, it doesn’t matter.

It reminds me of reading Riddley Walker. I had considered being a novelist before that. But when I was reading Riddley Walker, I realized that I would never, ever write anything that good. I might as well spend my time telling people to read Riddley Walker because even if I wrote for 30 years I would never create that much beauty or impart that level of wisdom. I gave up almost immediately.

That’s how I feel about Kayak. It just solves the problem of finding an airplane flight. There is no reason to try anymore.

However — I would like to copy their success into another industry.


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