Ning, the real 24 Hour Laundry

The much talked about 24 Hour Laundry has come out from under the covers as Ning. This is Marc Andressen’s latest and has some seriously smart people working for the company. What they have done is developed a meta app, a framework that allows folks like you and me to roll our own “social applications.” It is a hard one to quantify, and you have to use it to know it. Given that we have been bombarded with social apps in recent months, its nice to see a “mother of all social apps.”

Our goal with Ning is to see what happens when you open things up and make it easy to create, share, and discover new social apps. These might include for any city, your own take on Craigslist…for any passion, your own take on…for any interest, your own take on Zagat…for any event, your own take on Flickr…for any school, your own take on the Facebook…for any topic, your own take on…for any mammal, your own take on Hot or Not or Kitten War.

Mike over at Tech Dirt says, “The idea of situated software is that it serves a specific need for a specific (often very small) group of people. It doesn’t need to scale. It just needs to serve that group. It’s certainly likely that a system like Ning could provide a platform for that (though, there’s no guarantee that it will really work out that way).”

Start-Up Coach Jeff Clavier says, “There is actually an interesting knock-on effect here: building web 2.0 applications just got potentially even cheaper/easier to develop.” Flip his comment into plain speak – a lot of those smart VC dollars that were going to end up in social app clones will now have to find a new home. But as I normally ask of these new start-ups, where’s the beef? I am scratching my head on the revenue model!