Clive Thompson from Wired Magazine wrote this interesting article on the nature of start ups today. He notes that many new start ups are “playing it safe”; they are shying away from competitive spaces, and not taking big risks.
I’ve noticed since the Dot Boom that many start ups have become much more conscious about how the manage and grow their businesses. And this is a good thing. But a case can be made that it’s gone too far. Start ups are not pushing the envelope. They are being too cautious. They are forgetting the value of focusing user acquisition first, then monetization and market domination – and rather just jumping to monetization.
For those of you who have been following my blog for some time, you’re probably thinking, “Wait a second, Scott. Aren’t you the one who is always promoting monetization??”. And you would be right.
But it requires a balancing act. You have to build in the expectation of monetization from the beginning, while creating an attractive offer (read: FREE) that drives initial users.