Richard Hart

Head of Something @ Somewhere
Kent, UK

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Why is the site next to you more successful?

Someone posted the following on Rails Weenie… I of course replied…

This is kind of a vague question….

1. Same Idea but some just do much better.

ex. Youtube. Before youtube took off, there were several sites that did the exact same thing. So, why is youtube so succesful, while others remain in its shadow.

2. Is the internet done ?

Meaning, the web is saturated with e-commerce, entertainment, web programmers, designer, engineers…what more can we expect in the future ? Lets say, you’ve just created a killer app(in your opinion anyways). You’ve worked hard. You’ve marketed, you got some investors, clients. Can you expect a excess financial reward? Its uncertain.

Days when VC’s were backing undergrads with a are surely gone. Days when knowing just HTML could earn you an minimal income.

But once again sites like youtube and myspace make exceptions.

1. It comes down to a whole load of reasons. Some will cite first-to-market, some will cite better features or just better marketing. Look at beta-max vs VHS or the PS3 vs Wii. The reasons some sites do better then others are a combination of many factors. On the same token though what is successful? Yes the founders of YouTube did very well from themselves but as a business can you honestly say they are successful? Don’t be disillusioned by the grand amount of publicity they get, there are hundreds of thousands of businesses out there you’ve never heard of making millions of dollars profit every year.

2. The internet isn’t done. Just like the immortal words of the patent worker who said everything that could be invented has already be invented. There will constantly be new ways of achieving things and new ways of enriching a user’s experience. These constant changes give entrepreneurs a brilliant opportunity to sneak in and create something great.

Of course it’s all uncertain. Life is uncertain. But then that’s the fun of it. You can take your chances and play your cards or you can sit and watch the world pass you by. There’s no set in stone path to creating a successful “killer app”. It’s not easy. The only true path to “financial reward” as you put it is to continually keep trying. Some people have one idea and are successful off it, but more often then not, the most successful people/companies are the ones who tried and failed many times in the past, learning new lessons with each failing idea.

Yes the days when VCs would back any .com idea are gone but that’s not to say with a great idea, a proven business model and a clear revenue stream the VCs won’t still come knocking on your door.