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Brian

"Great times for start-ups indeed.

Use low cost and easy to use web apps and communication tools and all you need is a laptop and money for a cup of coffee at Starbucks... (OK, add some for a muffin or two to survive ;)"

Problem. If your startup requires captial - and especially if it involves making stuff - you're more-or-less stuck in the old model.

Raise capital, build the plant. Yes, contract it out but those guys tend to be awkward and want money ..

Which would seem to restrict the 'new gen' startups to orgs that gain traction with just a laptop and a server.

sig

Brian,

absolutely right! The post was more coined for the "Web 2.0" phenomena - that's why I added the "subtitle" - the great web 2.0 bear trap... :)

With great ease of entry comes great competition and... eh wild changes to ones marketplace. And thus even more need for business model agility...

Suspect you should be thankful for being in a business with almost impossible barriers to entry! :D

Mike O

Sig, Niko, the hype-speak ("agile" business) is making Web 2.0 sound just like the dot.com bubble of 1999. Low cost and easy-to-use is easy-to-say. The imagery of running a business from Starbucks with a laptop may appeal to many but, I know of only one business to run from a Starbucks and that is a coffee house.
Lego building applications to run any business has sizzle and curb appeal but, there is a great deal of work and expense between Thingamy today and Thingamy providing vital business function. I guess the proof is in the puddin'. It seems like a little more time building applications, teaching others how to build, and developing real success stories would do a lot more to build a sustainable enterprise than blogohype marketing will. Of course you claim to own the golden goose and you are responsible for building a business your way.

sig

Mike,

the "hype-speak" wildly agile business was in fact meant to describe the market/business situation out there thanks to ease of entry.

And as you say - the agility has a flip side - ease of competitor entry as well, setting the scene for something of a possibly more bubbly scenario.

I get the point that I can come over "hypish" on behalf of thingamy - but in fact - I try to stick to the underlying ideas and bat for them. If thingamy-the-product at the end of the day could do "it's thing" on behalf of those ideas is truly to be proven by a serving of pudding. Trying not to get involved in goose herding here - thingamy is an "idea" with a product attached ;)

Using thingamy will be a hard task, time and frustration consuming - it's about gettinng control over the real basis of your business.

That said, I do like to ask if you really can avoid focussing on your business model innovation, upkeep and control?

Brian

"absolutely right! The post was more coined for the "Web 2.0" phenomena - that's why I added the "subtitle" - the great web 2.0 bear trap... :)"

Sure. I think it's possible to fall in love with an idea so completely that you forget it's not the entire world.

I met a fellow at an SF convention last weekend. Nice guy, obviously smart, well read ... had no idea the 'space elevator' was anything but a device from fiction and centuries from becoming a reality. "We're close enough that a serious company has formed around the idea" was what I think he said.

Wow, thought I. Not everyone has heard of us or the space elevator. Clearly I need to get out more.

So, yah Web 2.0 isn't the world. Too bad, perhaps.

"Suspect you should be thankful for being in a business with almost impossible barriers to entry! :D"

Ah, this is the thing. Once the first one is built (and this is true of anything) the next one is cheaper and the next dozen are cheaper still. True not everyone can run one up in his basement. It will take an agile mind to run a space launch business and make a profit.

NikoN

Maybe not so much "falling in love with an idea" or "hyping web2.0 business", but making the point that by focusing strongly on product you always have that risk of someone making a better product and "evaporating the equality", i.e. taking your customers. A more sustainable approach would be to focus strongly on the value provided to the customers, and the agile, constantly changing business model that enables providing that value.

Many (most?) Web 2.0 startups are in the product business, not the providing-max-value business. And this is the bear-trap.

I say "focus strongly" because this is of course not a black/white thing: a company that didn't put any thought into the value their product delivers wouldn't last a minute. A "regular web2.0 company" can sure last years. But to have a really sustainable business, one that can last through the hypes and bubbles and bursts -- for that you need certain agility, a focus on value that will help you beat not only the competitors that were established when you started, but also those smart new ones that come out of nowhere (from the sofa at Starbucks).

Nick B

You probably mean "pre-emptively". I like "pre-emptily", though (and this blog entry is the second hit if you Google it!)

sig

Ouch Nick... mee English iz not me først language you know, only a leetle bøgg that :D

Me fix promptly, clean "code" is a must!

[Disclosure - Nick and his chaps does good code, like thingamy code...]

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