Here’s my take. Of course you can make money in the widgets business. I think you can make money in most any business if you take the right angle on the opportunity.
Many people thought you couldn’t make money in feeds, that RSS was an open standard, that managing feeds would be a commodity, and that there wasn’t a defensible position to be had. FeedBurner proved them all wrong and has built a wonderful business in feed management.
Will the widget opportunity be the same as feeds? Should the playbook for widgets be the same one FeedBurner used for feeds? I doubt it. Frankly FeedBurner is already moving into widgets so copying their playbook (being the FeedBurner for widgets) seems like the wrong angle to take.