I have been involved in about four startup projects.All of them were aimed at the internet.The barriers to entry in web business is so low that once the startup or business of ready to be shipped,it takes a lot of effort to get the message out there about your new product.But once the product gets to main stream,you stand the chance to gain a lot.Social media may be free,but you cannot be 100 percent sure that the product will get to the target market.I am therefore torn betwen starting a consumer application or business to business application.In a B2B application,a strong sales team can deliver and bring in the money.If you plan to build a consumer application read Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More ,but some principles and ideas are useful for business applications ,especially if you get to main stream. His basic Principles are that
1. Make as much as possible available to as many people as possible.
2. Help them to locate what they need, quickly and easily.
3. Offer maximum inventory only online.
4. Customize supply chain in terms of niche markets
5. Maximize its efficiencies and economies (especially inventory control, order processing, and distribution,)
5. Be customer-driven in terms of “crowdsourcing”
6. Have strategy that separates content into its component parts (i.e. “microchunking”)
7. Have a pricing strategy that is “elastic” (i.e. based on the ROI of fulfillment per product per niche).
8. Have an open source business model for information sharing.
9. In markets where scarcity exists, “guesstimate” costs, margins, sales, profits, etc.
10.Where there is abundant competition, let those markets “sort it all out.”
Also available at Principles from Amazon.
Other useful links and articles that I am reading include
Starting and running a web business
A guide to Starting you Business