March 12, 2007

9 points that Web 2.0 startups should remember

Just came across this when I was reading the latest edition of SmartTechie and this article is by one of my favourite authors Rajesh Setty.Since,he is involved in many startups in same space,he shared his experience through his article and believe me,it was a good learning for my own Web 2.0 startup idea biggrin

Below is the list of some of the important points which is mentioned in the article:

1. Don't chase exceptions-make them:
YouTube got sold to Google without making any money.Same is the case with the other high profile startups like Plenty Of Fish and Fark,which have only one employee.So,should we target our startup based on this model?Well,these were some of the exceptions and hence,rather than chasing an exception,create your own!!!

2. You can't forget the team:
This is important just like a normal project.He had a nice Jim Collins quote saying "You got to have the right people in the right places on your bus"

3. You still need a sound business model:
During the dotcom days,there were business plans on the back of the business envelope which got funded.There is lot of venture capital now but as open source goes mainstream,the technology costs have reduced.And nowadays,many entrepreneurs use self funding rather than using other people's money.This is the basic principle , which should be followed in other businesses as well.

4. Do what works,not what's cool(Ajax):
Ajax is cool but customers wont use your product only if you use Ajax.Hence,it is very important to see if the customer really needs it or not since,something might be cool for you but might be irritating for others. redface

5. Lay the right foundation for the next few versions:
In my point of view,this is the most important point for any startup lol
Design the first version of your product with very high standards and with that,you have made an implicit promise with your customers on what is about to come in future.Mainitaining the same quality in all the future releases would be very difficult but it is very important for the success of your product.

6. Emphasize agility:
If your model is so cool that just two people can execute it brilliantly , than any other twosome may be able to challenge you quickly idea.You can't always ride on the first to market train!!!The best way to protect yourself is to design and configure everything to be agile,so that even if you are met with surprises,you can change course quickly and maintain your lead.

7. Build to scale(rapidly):
This one made me think for my own Web 2.0 startup and it will be an eye-opener for all those guys planning to jump in that space rolleyes
It hurts to fail because you don't have customers.It hurts even more to fail because your idea attracted too many people,too fast and you couldn't service them.This is very much possible in the Web 2.0 market so,make sure from the outset that the solution you're building is built to scale.

8. Choose the right metrics:
This is the second point which I liked the most.
Just because another startup earned a lucrative exit based on number of website visitors or page views,there is no guarantee those metrics will work for your company too.Don't do something just because everyone in the Web 2.0 world is doing it.That's the best reason to do something different smile

9. Involve the customers right from the start:
This is the third point which I liked the most.
Always try to meet your customer expectations.It is very easy to get carried away with your idea without having enough information.The best way to delight customers with your product or service is to work with them from the outset and get their feedback.
Knowing their expectations and beating them is a great way to create a "wow" experience-for them and for you.

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At Mar 12, 2007, 8:36:00 AM , Anonymous The Cruisemaniac said...

Very well written post buddy. Some points that I've always kept in mind when designing systems for my startup, Nisarga India. AJAX is not everything!!! Tat was a kewl point. And Building to scale... Yeah. Tats y we have 1 TB of bandwidth and 50GB of webspace!!! B-)

At Mar 13, 2007, 2:11:00 AM , Blogger Himanshu said...

Hey Ashwin,
I also liked Nisarga India and the cool design that it has!!!

1 TB of bandwidth,thats too much


At Mar 13, 2007, 7:06:00 PM , Blogger Zoltan said...

The thing is that YouTube like deals may happen once in a lifetime. It is like winning on the lottery. There ar tens (or hundreds) of thousands of startups, the probability that you will sell for billions (or even millions) is very low. :)

At Mar 13, 2007, 7:09:00 PM , Blogger Zoltan said...

Of course... we all hope for similar deals, otherwise we would not launch every 2-3 months new websites. :) Our newest venture, the free dating site is one of our newest ventures. It is good to see it is growing day after day. It makes you feel so good, even if you are spending your money in promoting it.

At Mar 16, 2007, 1:04:00 AM , Blogger Himanshu Sheth said...

@Zoltan:Thanks for landing up on this blog.Yes,deals like YouTube is like winning a lottery and we need more companies like these!!!

I would definitely check out your dating site.



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