Thinking of starting an online business? Well, it’s a favorable time for entrepreneurs! Follow my train of thought as I try to figure out where the best business opportunities lie.
Apparently we’re supposed to be in a new tech (“dot-com”) cycle and it’s called Web 2.0. Strange. It certainly doesn’t feel like 8 years ago when massive hiring and pirating of anything with two legs were the rage, or when unbearable freeway traffic transported me to the 3rd world, or when 5 star restaurants and clubs were filled to the breaking point with loud annoying music, revelry, and various kinds of terribly expensive alcohol.
No this tech boom is much more subtle and paced more gradually, the only signs in my mind being how Google became the behemoth of the last few years and how it bought a little over a year old video hosting company. Or how some students in a college environment served up social networking and got more than just generation Y hooked. Well then, that’s just great by me since that just backs up what all those pundits are saying about how this tech boom is going to be longer lasting since it is founded on a healthier, more improved, faster and cheaper technological foundation, making it much easier to innovate. With more people connected than ever before, there are just more eyeballs to court and purses to entice for the lot of us online merchants and webmasters alike. Yep, fine by me.
It’s no bubble this time, they say, and I may as well agree as I ask, where’s the hoopla? So this could be it, this could be the opportunity we were all waiting for to happen again — that twice-in-a-lifetime experience to play the techie lottery once more and I feel it to be an auspicious time, like waiting for the second shoe to drop (the first being that first bubble). So who’s brave enough to jump on the train this time? Maybe I should ask, who’s brave enough to jump in front of the train?
I recall in late 1999 when everyone I knew was in a startup, I felt as a well-paid consultant (as all contractors during that time were well paid and referred to as consultants) that I had to yield to the siren call of the new era, and off I went to join a startup that seemed promising and everything going for it. Of course you know how it all ended up much like 99% of things ended up in 2 years time but it remains as an awe-inspiring memory for many of us who experienced things in the heart of where it all happened.
Now I hear the buzzing of 2.0 beginning to drill ever gradually louder in my ear with each fleeting day, when I overhear and read about people now claiming they are willing to drop their safe jobs for another shot at financial freedom and early retirement. Just recently, a friend who was making $140,000 easy in a stable, lucrative job in a stable, secure establishment while only working the equivalent of maybe 30 hours a week tops was strongly considering shedding the job for a chance to “make a difference” in a smallish startup with only 3 years under its belt. And many more entrepreneurial types have followed the footsteps of another someone I know who was making a rather enviable living in the gaming industry but has decided to chuck all that to start another incubator in a spare room. Yes, even though most other people I know who were non-entrepreneurial types would have given their left joystick-free arm for that apparently boring job.
Just to show you how we attempt to cut our teeth into this tech 2.0 challenge, here are some interchanges at home….
|Digerati Spouse:||I have the next million dollar idea. It involves this social bookmarking stuff that everyone’s talking about.|
|Me:||Oh yeah? Is it better than that smart web counter idea you came up with last week… that analytics in a chicklet that would analyze people’s traffic? Or could it be better than that mind-blowing idea you had with the favorites in the toolbar that people could use while they surfed?|
|Digerati Spouse:||Yes, this is gonna be BIG!|
|Me:||Awesome. It sounds so beautiful I could cry.|
|Digerati Spouse:||You know how the bookmarking thing is huge right now, so I thought it would be so great to have an aggregator for it! Now that would be cool!|
|Me:||Uhhh… yeah they did that one already.|
|Digerati Spouse:||NO @#(%%$&^ WAY!!!! That can’t be!|
|Me:||Yeah check out the funtastic Sociable thing and the equally cool Socializer tool.|
|Digerati Spouse:||Dang, I’ve been PWNED! (some geeky term that means “I’ve been had” or “he got me”)|
The jury is still out on whether this so-called boom is indeed going to cycle out longer and pad more pockets than its predecessor. However it plays out, maybe this time more people’s lives will be impacted and rearranged in the wake of this new boom. In what way or by how much, we can only wonder. All that we can do is hope for the second chance.
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