SVN had a pretty good take on the Kiko calendar demise. I’d add a bit more. In the SVN analysis they compare Backpack to G calendar but note it’s not a perfect comparison because Backpack does more and isn’t free. I’d say that’s the real problem here. There’s no point in competing with Google on a free product. That’s just stupid. You need to create a value added product that’s worth paying for. If you’re wasting your time hoping to create a product that someone acquires just because it’s cool then it’s easy to get blown out of the water when Google or Yahoo or Microsoft come out with a similar product.
Kiko wasn’t designed as a product, it was designed as cool and that’s a very tenuous model for any industry much less web based applications. In fact the ebay action site says it all: “Kiko currently has no advertising revenue”. Well if you made a product worth paying for you wouldn’t have to worry about advertising revenue.
One other small side rant I have, is why do entrepreneur’s think it’s easier to make money via advertising? Sure it’s easy to add some adwords and make $300 a month, but it ‘s much harder to make a living at it. If you were to get serious about advertising you’d need to hit the streets and really beat down doors. You’d need to work deals with individual companies. All that takes tons of time and man power. I think making an app worth paying for is a lot easier than an advertising based site where you’re beholden to so many other people besides your users.