Cutting to the chase, there are four different types of online applications that stand a good chance of rising above clutter.

These four kinds of applications are the ones that are bound to succeed without any marketing money – no Adsense ads, no television prime time ads, no….nothing. That is to say users of these applications will become their brand ambassadors. And that too for free. What are these four different types of applications?

Any product that helps users steal

Any product that helps you steal is bound to be a great success. Consider the search engine Giant Baidu in China. If Baidu didn’t allow for free pirated music files to be downloaded for free (or stolen) it wouldn’t have been able to overtake Google in 2008 and become the Number 1 country specific search engine. In a case that got settled in January 2010, a China Court decided that Baidu wasn’t a music pirate and thus doesn’t need to block the pirated music downloads. Bingo!

Did you know that iTunes helps me steal? If you don’t know what you want to download from the P2P Networks, just go to iTunes….see all the music listings, listen to the preview and if any song catches your eyes and ears…come over to your favourite P2P network and download it. Once the song is downloaded, just drag and drop it from the ‘Shared’ folder to the ‘iTunes’ folder.

Still not convinced? Well, between June 1999 & July 2001 a man called Shawn Fanning was the poster boy of the World because of something he had developed – Napster. Released in 1999, Napster had 20 million users in just 12 months. That’s at the rate of almost 55,000 new users joining Napster every day! And what did Naspter help with? Steal Music!

*By the way, if you remember within 1 year Floppy discs were replaced by CDs. Just one year. Know why? Because the CDs helped us all carry (or steal) more data like software, music, games etc home or anywhere else.

Applications that help users earn money

Then there are others – applications that help users earn money will also succeed without marketing. Take Google’s Adsense program for example…or Amazon’s Affiliate Program (started in 1996 and now with more than 1,250,000 members) or Blogger or…Wordpress….all of which took off on the premise that one can earn money on these platforms.

Applications that help users save money

And lastly, any application that helps users save money. Isn’t money saved equal to money earned?

Any application that helps users save money will also succeed without any marketing effort. Take for example a very small start up called Way2sms.com – a free SMS sending service, based out of Hyderabad. Every day 400000 unique users visit Way2sms.com to send out more than 9 million SMS per day. More stats here.

Not convinced? Take Skype’s case …an excellent application launched in 2003 that helps reduce your call costs. It currently has 560 million registered users out of which approximately 124 million are active every month. Out of these total registered users about 8.1 million of them are monthly paying users — that is, on an average they pay $96/year for the service. Now, isn’t that a winner? Another similar application that doesn’t need any marketing is Nimbuzz, which can be downloaded from http://get.nimbuzz.com.

On similar lines there is another application that helps people save money….just that instead of saving call costs, here it helps save SMS costs. The name of the product is Mixit and it is hugely popular in South Africa & Indonesia. Don’t believe me? Digest these numbers: A registered userbase of 20 Million, who send across about 250 million messages per day (it works because the SMS costs in South Africa are huge when compared to data usage costs).

If you know any other application that fits into this premise, please share as a comment.