Business ideas are dead; chase after market opportunity

In my previous blog post titled “How making money changed my perspective on startup ideas“, I argued that business ideas don’t have a lot of value in isolation. It is the market opportunity coupled with good execution which generates value and revenues. In this post I want to go one step further and argue that most successful (software) companies got there by chasing a market opportunity and not by having a unique business idea.

Take example of any successful software company and you will find that their business idea was not unique. You say Facebook, I say Friendster. You say Google, I say Altavista. In fact, I think citing such examples is not a good idea because odds of a startup achieving a billion dollar valuation (and becoming a brand) are close to none. I am more interested in knowing how the “long tail” of software companies achieve million dollar plus revenues. That’s a realistic, achievable target and the odds of your startup becoming a Fortune 50000 business are much higher than it becoming Google. So, we should drop the dreams of IPO (for now), let’s just see how businesses make million dollar revenues. ...  Read the entire post β†’

Compilation of revenue figures for different kinds of startups

Imagine for a moment that you have created a new web app and after about 3 months of launching you are doing $2000 per month of sales. Would you consider yourself as a successful startup?

Well, you are already ahead of majority of startups which never get to see any revenue. So, in that way you are doing good. Plus if $2000 covers all your human and infrastructure cost, that means you have broken even and are doing really well. Is breaking-even the measure of success for a startup?

You certainly didn’t take the risk to earn just-enough money. Why would you leave your day job if your goal was to just break-even? So, this directly takes us back to our original question – when do you say that your startup is a success? ...  Read the entire post β†’