Mike Schinkel, founder of (VB)Xtras, has a blog, and his first postings are quite interesting (and long). When VBxtas was founded, resellers were a very important part of our customers: Their printed catalogs provided one of the few ways for us to directly reach developers. The other way was through print advertising. The reverse was also true: reseller print catalogs were the only way to find a solution if you needed a specific type of component.
Both resellers and print developer magazines have gone through some tough times. Why? Because the Internet has challanged the value they used to provide. Finding the right vendor is only a Google or Yahoo search away. And if you want even sharper focus, you can just browse some of the component galleries out there, like on ASP.NET and DevDirect.
Although resellers still have some value in providing a single source that simplifies the purchasing process for corporate buyers, the traditional resellers model's power has diminished greatly. It's a classic case of the Internet taking out the middle man. How can component and tools resellers re-invent themselves to provide value for developers? I'll leave that question for Mike Schinkel (or you!) to answer… [Live @ Sax.net]