You saw the craze. People built up Web 2.0. It’s frequently a term that people used to avoid business principles and focus entirely on technology without any end goal. I have always disdain it. Many folks surprisingly jumped in with funding for some of these ideas, likely more due to existing dot bomb relationships that business principle.
Yet Internet startups who focus on the following business issues closely will always have a good chance at succeeding:
1. Have a clear value proposition that meets some area of unmet need: Something that says, “We provide a first in industry solution to the problem of blah, blah, blah”. Not “This is kinda like part Digg, Youtube with a bit of Facebook – just way better”. I meet lots of people that say this stuff in the second category, I cringe when I hear it.
2. Realize that Internet companies are marketing companies first and technology companies second: I can’t tell you how many startups I see who hire a programmer, program something and then go hire a salesperson. They go through the whole process without a well crafted, customer focused value proposition.
3 . Have a clear data model that focuses on data integrity and creating a monetizable store of value:
Does your Internet startup attempt to focus on data integrity issues? Will it eventually create a monetizable store of value? I ask this question in the startups that I’ve assisted. It comes from my background in financial services where not having accurate information can cost you millions in an instant, the true Internet time.
4. Have a business model for the company as a stand alone entity. Key partners invested in your outcome? Good.
5. Have people that have worked in high performance startup cultures on your team who understand that real-time iteration of your offerings are critical to your success!
6. Look at and study the history of business and technology innovation. Then use it in your transactions and execution.
These are the five that are most critical, though I’m sure you can think of more critical drivers. Please join the conversation. I can also think of several blogs that focus on buzzwords instead of business principles that are now more than a bit obsolete. It’s time to focus on business success principles at the party. it’s a smaller party, but one that will drive hundreds of new Internet startups for years and years.