Watch out, I'm doing it again! I'm writing another Teens in Tech blog post, and I'm going to use Connect to generate some of the content. I want a lot of voices in this conversation, so I'm going to make an incentive. I can't think of one, so when you reply to this post (do it, press the button!) also tell me what the incentive should be, within reason.
Here's the question "Why The %^&# is ___________ successful?". You can fill in the blank with any company you like, but there are two types of companies I really want to discuss. Companies with teen founders and companies that entered a very crowded market. Teen founders, obviously because that's always an interesting story and a major focus for the Teens in Tech blog. I'm also interested in companies like Quora for example, who really didn't do a whole lot different and aren't even that easy to use, but still have a pretty huge user base.
Thanks amigos! Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say :)
P.S. I will only allow one person to answer Facebook. We all know why it's awesome and popular.
ONLY SEAN CAN SEE THIS
Ah, I like this one. I'm not going to speak about any company in particular.
I think one of the most important parts in the success of a startup is luck. The entrepreneur can help improving their luck, but arbitrary luck is also crucial.
But arbitrary luck isn't interesting, the cool part is how to improve your luck. One important thing is to have pretty amazing contacts, it will help to go to a lot of events related to what your working on and not being shy at all, people are usually more impressed with seeing young people really into this than thinking that we shouldn't be around places like this. In my case it's also being really important to have contacts in the public administration, specially related to entrepreneurship and business.
Effort is also very very important. You need to love your project and work as hard as you can on it.
In the case of a teen entrepreneur it's also very important to be mature and humble, you need to know your limits and don't let success get to you. It's very important to be ambitious and confident about yourself and your project, but don't surpass the limit.
Most brilliant ideas have come out of entrepreneurs thinking about what they need improved in this world, not what they think others need improved. Nevertheless, it's important to study the market.
Being productive. Being an entrepreneur is tough, really tough, and I think a teen entrepreneur is even tougher because you need to combine your startup with school and you musn't forget your social life. Organization is crucial. I wish I was as productive as I could be, I'm stil working really hard on this aspect.
Thinking ahead would be a great quality for an entrepreneur. There are people who have great minds for entrepreneurship, like Steve Jobs. He could develop a product without even doing a market study, he knew he would create a new necessity for people and that it would be successful. This is mostly for geniuses, but this, like everything, can be trained and improved.
I can't think of anything else really important right now. Any more ideas??
Why do you think is offtopic? I think I mentioned qualities successful entrepreneurs have, specially teens... I guess I didn't doing following the case of a particular company though...
Alberto, your response was great! I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say :)
Why the %^&# is Facebook Successful?
There are a few reasons but I'll point out two of them.
They started of as a project. It was never meant to be the billion-dollar idea that it is now. It was meant as a project that Mark had in school for his friends. He enjoyed working on it for fun, not just for money. If you can't have your friends use the product and enjoy it, what makes you think that other people in the world would?
They plan for the long term. You can't look at a product and think of it as a short term investment. To get anything out of a startup, you have to be in it for the long run. You have to care about the product you are making. You can't look to just sell it out or have it acquired. Yes, you can get it acquired but you'll get more success and respect if you believe in your product and stick with it for the long term.
I was thinking about this one and thinking of a company to use as an example. I was thinking of doing Twitter, but everyone knows why Twitter is successful and it would be a pointless post. I couldn't really think of a very successful company in which people, especially on connect, don't know why they are successful. But when you look at successful companies, specifically those entering crowded markets and founded by teens, the characteristics and reasons why they are successful are generally very similar.
Simplicity, ease of use, constantly improving the product and developing new features, and of course innovation and creating a product people want, seem to be the most common characteristics of successful companies. I was thinking about adding design and the aesthetic part of a site as well, but checking this out (showing the original designs of some of the most successful web companies http://mashable.com/2011/12/11/old-web-design/) rejects this idea that a slick design is imperative. Constantly improving your product and making it better is a very important key for a company to be successful long term. This is why I think Facebook may be around for the long run, and why MySpace....is well...MySpace.
Tyler, it's a really interesting point you bring up that a slick design isn't essential for success. I tend to disagree. Design is the same as usability in most cases and in companies the UI and UX teams work very closely. Facebook, for example, had what we might consider a crappy design now in 2004 when that same design would have been at least on par if not new and innovative. If you're referring to that mashable post from last week with original designs, keep in mind those all predate web 2.0.
I also agree that of late, UI and UX is very important for a product to be successful. I think Apple has taken a very important part in giving this it's importance.
Now that I've been thinking about it, I was wrong. Slick design is pretty essential in today's world. Back a few years ago this wasn't the case, but times have changed.