(You’ve been doing well at publishing, technology and audience-building.Â Suddenly your online publication has become aÂ business.Â Where can you findÂ help in managing your startup?)
Sarting a Web 2.0 business is a game of twists and turns and success may come from an unexpected quarterÂ when entrepreneurs follow the rules:Â build, test, assess and only then try to scale.
That’s the short and dirty synopsis of a fun andÂ usefulÂ Business 2.0 story that uses this example of how an afterthought turned into the main event:
“Ludicorp, the original parent company of online photo site Flickr, began as a startup developing a massively multiplayer game called the Game Neverending. As part of the initial software development, the company developed a tool that allowed people to share photos and chat about them. As more and more of the internal team and their friends began to use the tool, it became clear that providing technology to share photos in a unique way was the real opportunity–a shift that led to the creation of the Flickr website and an all-new business model. The Game Neverending was never launched, but Flickr was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 for an estimated $30 million.”
Don’t be blinded by theÂ chimeraÂ ofÂ success. The Small Business Administration saysÂ “over 50% of small businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail within the first five years,” according to aÂ list of the top 10 reasons why. Reason number one: lack of business experience. So check out some tips before you become a stastistic.
The Business 2.0Â article is a hoot and the magazineÂ has reposted it in PDF format for easy download. It’sÂ breezy and aÂ bitÂ frothy asÂ a result butÂ isÂ packed with insights and graphically appealing.Â The fewÂ minutes it takesÂ to read will surely deliver a few good ideas.
By the way, article co-author Om MalikÂ has taken his own advice and has started GigaOmniMedia. (Let’s hope Om has read his own second-to-last set of rule, including this rubric:Â “rent should be no more than four to six percent of total operating costs.”
The Business Week article isÂ the aerialÂ view of businessÂ at 30,000 feet.Â In looking for specific informationÂ start withÂ the Small Business Administration. A good SBAÂ summary of resourcesÂ would be the place to start. It will point to places like:
- Business Owners Idea Cafe, an award-winningÂ community that been around since 1995;
- Beaucoup places to find help writing business plans;
- Even places to find advisers,Â such asÂ SCORE, an organization of retired business people who will come in and help you one-on-one (my sister Tina (Parental Wisdom) Nocera recently reminded me how helpful SCORE can be.
Finally, check out the “business administration” category of Andilinks, a repository of resources on a wide array of topicsÂ all gathered and reviewed by Andrea Silver. About Andrea I can say little. About Andilinks, I can’t say enough. It’s a fascinating site thatÂ reminds me of browsing titles in a book store. Just visit when you have time to lounge.