Saturday, September 20, 2008

startup 1: market research

I've been recently asked to advise an Internet start-up in the early moments, and I'm trying to give good advice based on what I've seen and am seeing in the industry. I would appreciate any comments on the short articles I'm going to be posting here over the next while.


If you want to see your web-based business succeed, my best recommendation is to begin by scouring the Internet and profiling any related sites... because inevitably, you aren't the first netizen with at least similar ideas!

Create a document that lists out every related website you can find and ask these questions about each one of them:

* What do they do?
* What do they do well?
* What do they do poorly?
* What do they not do at all?
* Did I know this site existed before? If not, then why? (What's wrong with they ways they did or did not market themselves?)

Why waste time and make mistakes when you can watch other people do exactly that, and then learn from them the easy way?? Knowledge is key.

If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.

-- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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