Internet has no entry barriers : Myth Buster

Dot Com Internet entry barrier

So you have a dot com !

Starting a business is more art than science. While you may know what to do (and what not to do) to convert your dreams into reality; guaranteeing success beforehand will still not be possible in any case whatsoever. Ignore even one crucial factor and your business starts heading towards doom. Understanding entry barriers to a business is very important. IT / Internet or the dot com plays a nice deceiver here. You think you have a great idea for the next big facebook and bang you are already on your way to failure.

Your dot com will doom. Here’s why

As a startup volunteer I meet many startups with great sparks. Each one of them thinks that their idea is unique and they will really crush it online. While a unique idea which solves a pressing pain is a sure recipe for success, it still is just half baked cake. Your web app, mobile app or whatever platform you develop an app for is not just about you, your team skills or your ideas. Its not about your customers and thats where IT geeks take the biggest plunge.

You might mash up the google maps api with amazon books and sprinkle over it a few authority tweets, but the real value add in all this will not be the app but your understanding of the consumer!

Let me explain with a clear example

For you this might be an example but for me its a story I listen from every alternate startup. The entrepreneur has some good contacts from where he can source products for cheap. He builds a nice ecommerce portal and promises cheapest prices possible. Bang! you have a million dollar e-commerce portal in the making. Right? No… Wrong! Absolutely wrong!

Even if you will provide me an iPad for 50 bucks, still you wont be able to sustain your startup. And this is true for any dot com. What you need to know is everything about one person – Your customer

From Googles to Amazons the story will always remain the same. Customer expertise comes first.

Some of the most successful businesses were launched by people who had a clear and strong problems. They were desperate to solve it. They did and they won!

Why do we pay more for the same product

Dont we pay more money for the same product we can get cheap. At first this sounds foolish but we all do this. A better hotel, a better quality food or a good looking outfit is something we can all differentiate on. But if the same product is available on some unknown site for a few bucks less than Amazon, who will you chose? Every one can make a twitter app right? but can you scale it to the levels Twitter has actually scaled to?

Why are these successful companies charging us more? There is a reason to it – They understand – you the customer well and this charge is the fee for the effort that goes in thinking about you first!

The entry barrier in IT

The dot com moguls of tomorrow need to understand this. Your entry barrier is neither technology nor scaling. It is understanding the market. A lone geek in a dorm room hardly understands what the world outside feels like and how to make the connect (exceptions are always there, Mark). So if you get the eureka moment next time, dont jump to create layout of your website. Jump out to meet the customers who have similar problems. Interact with them. Understand how will they react to your solution? Will they pay? How much?

Just getting a piece of software running is not business. Having a wordpress blog doesnt make you an authority. Your customer has the only right to choose you and unfortunately she cant excercise this right on every other business

I read somewhere that customers are like wives. I would say they are smart wives, even before getting into a relation they will ensure that they marry to a product/service which understands them the most. Ready for the marriage?

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