by Jason Falls
The software providers are consolidating, bringing together suites of products. This is good for larger businesses in that they can start to realize a one-stop-shop effect for social management, marketing, analytics and more. But it is a horrible series of events for 95% of the businesses out there. Small business is being left behind having to choose from freemium platforms that aren't enough or having to spend far too much money to get access to what they need.
The consolidation movement is simply making it impossible for small businesses to get the features they need at a price they can afford. Venture capital has ruined the social technology space because they push startups to focus on enterprise dollars. No one is looking out for the little guy. They have a meager budget, but still need a solution. They're being left out.