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Posts Tagged ‘startups’

Bizak Auction

December 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Bizak is currently up for auction on SitePoint. Any interested parties can bid directly on the site or contact me (617-947-8071 or email) for additional information.

Auction URL:  http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/53150

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It’s All About Execution

November 11, 2008 3 comments

As I wrote previously in “Creating Ideas Into Business” I talked about how TOKiBiz helps entrepreneurs execute their idea into an online application. I receive a lot of idea development requests via this site. Most of them aren’t significantly unique but how the entrepreneur plans to execute the idea is where the creativity comes into play. It’s the combination of this unique perspective coupled with the entrepreneur’s experience that makes the idea a good one! Ideas create new ideas.

Everyone has ideas but how to create those ideas into an internet application is the difficult part. Creating that idea into a solid brand and profitable business is the very difficult part.  

I respect people’s desire to be very protective of their thoughts but the truth is no one can execute it like you can. They way someone else views your idea is totally different than how you see it – plus the idea alone is not new or very complicated. As I wrote in “The Value of a Business Idea“:

For most ideas the initial value doesn’t necessarily come from the idea itself but the team behind that idea.  Many of us have similar ideas but the real value comes in how that idea is executed.  The more experience the team has the more likely they’ll have a successful execution – even if the idea isn’t earth shattering.  For many ideas aren’t earth shattering, however the most successful ones provide a simple solution to a common problem.

As Techcrunch reported there is a “Fourth YouTuber” who is looking to sue the company for stealing his idea. The reasons are given in the article but none of them are all that unique or even ones that didn’t exist before YouTube went live. The idea of posting videos on the web wasn’t a new one when YouTube went live in 2005. Revver, Brightcove, iFilm and others were around before 2005 but YouTube clicked with the masses. This doesn’t however mean YouTube is monetizing better than other sites – especially Hulu who is eating their lunch.

The “Fourth YouTuber” claims that he came up with the ideas for “video uploading, video commenting, agnostic video format, layout of the main video screen, awards and top listings “most watched”, star ratings, viewers, DMCA automation, video and audio fingerprinting.” Maybe he did but none of these ideas (or features) are all that unique. It’s stuff that developers casually talk about every day – if developers weren’t able to create ideas that originated from conversations then nothing would be built. We build upon what we read and hear about – again it’s the way individuals execute these ideas that make them unique. Take a dozen internet startups in twelve different industries and it’s likely that half of them integrate similar “Web 2.0” features.

DJ Burdick, founder of One Season, says “business is 5% idea, 95% execution” in “Ideas are Cheap.” One excellent point that DJ makes is “a lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to share their ideas”: 

“We’re in stealth mode” you’ll hear people say. I think that this approach in general is more harmful than good. Let’s throw all morals out the window for a second and assume that people are bad and won’t have any aversion to stealing your idea. Talented and smart people have better things going on than waiting around to steal your idea. Untalented and unoriginal people who may try to steal your idea won’t be able to execute it.

The less experienced someone is at turning a concept into a business, the more they seem to feel like the idea is everything.

If you stay in “stealth mode” as an entrepreneur you’re really only hurting yourself.

NDAs are thrown around so often. It seems like every conversation is prefaced with a mutual NDA. VCs won’t sign them for good reason. And I think in general they are really pointless. Source:  Ideas are Cheap

We’re all influenced by the same technology, which in return stimulates ideas that are similar to others. Someone with a financial background is going to execute the idea differently than someone with a retail background. It’s the experience that one has within the industry that he/she is executing in that increases the likelihood of success for that idea. As I wrote in “Getting An Idea Off the Ground“: 

I use to think that at some point ideas would eventually run dry.  Now I know this is definitely not the case for there are millions of ways to make our lives better.  Ways that we never thought of before and ways that couldn’t exist without the idea launched previous to ours.  For ideas keep building on the ideas of those who came before us.

Internet Earnings

November 7, 2008 Leave a comment

Below is a chart of the current (October 2008) average benchmarks for websites who contribute to Bizak. Numbers are averages for Visitors, Revenues, Revenues per Visitor (RPV), Costs, Earnings, Earnings per Visitor (RPV) and Valuation. Bizak is categorized into industry, website type and revenue source. The chart below lists the averages for website type and revenue source.   

Internet Statistics

And the Winner is…?

October 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Not sure yet, but I’m assuming it’s not Bizak, which means we’re still looking for seed financing for both TOKiBiz and Bizak. Additional info:

If you don’t know what I’m talking about (in regards to winning) please read Mashable’s Startup Showdown

Investors, Financing, Venture Capital & Funding Opportunities of Startups

September 16, 2008 Leave a comment

To register please visit: https://www.bizak.com/investors/register

This evening, actually 2am this morning, we at Bizak are starting to role out the investor side of our database. This means investors and corporations can finally view and compare startups within our database.  Different from the startup side, investors can actually see specific data, web analytics and financial data for all startups who elect to have their information published.  

Right now, as of 2am Tuesday morning, investors can subscribe to our XML feed and view and compare benchmarks to startups.  All of the investor applications will be completed by Wednesday afternoon.  The features that still need to be added are the profiles (contact information, bio, links, etc.) for startups and the ability to view and sort the top ten projects according to each sort.  A sort consists of Industry, Business Type and Revenue Source.  For example, you can view the top ten startups who are in the Internet industry, operate a business network and have a subscription model.  

As for the XML feeds this allows investors, venture capital firms and corporations to integrate our data into their platform for both internal use and database access for clients.  Examples of the data included in the XML schemas can be seen below.  Both of the XML files are being modified a bit more and contact phone and URL will be integrated into the startup schemas. Each subscriber has their own unique URL which returns data in XML format using the below schemas.

To register please visit: https://www.bizak.com/investors/register

For additional information about the investor side of Bizak please view the video below the XML data.

Startups & Projects

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<projectlist>
<project>
<startup>Startup Company Name (text)</startup>
<startupcontact>Startup Contact Name (text)</startupcontact>
<projectname>Project Name (text)</projectname>
<industry>Industry (text)</industry>
<websitetype>Website (text)</websitetype>
<revenuesource>Revenue (text)</revenuesource>
<visitors>Visitors (number)</visitors>
<revenue>Revenue (number)</revenue>
<rpv>Revenue per Visitor (number)</rpv>
<costs>Costs (number)</costs>
<cpv>Costs per Visitor (number)</cpv>
<earnings>Earnings (number)</earnings>
<epv>Earnings per Visitor (number)</epv>
<estimate>Bizak Estimate (number)</estimate>
</project>
</projectlist>
Benchmarks
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<benchmarks>
<benchmark>
<industry>Industry (text)</industry>
<websitetype>Website (text)</websitetype>
<revenuesource>Revenue (text)</revenuesource>
<visitors>Visitors (number)</visitors>
<revenue>Revenue (number)</revenue>
<rpv>Revenue per Visitor (number)</rpv>
<costs>Costs (number)</costs>
<cpv>Costs per Visitor (number)</cpv>
<earnings>Earnings (number)</earnings>
<epv>Earnings per Visitor (number)</epv>
<estimate>Bizak Estimate (number)</estimate>
</benchmark>
</benchmarks>

 

 

Comparing Startup Performance

September 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Below is my answer to a post on VenCorps in regards to using Bizak to compare the performance of new startups to those of established web applications. – Tom

I definitely agree that a company in beta is not an apples to apples comparison to one that’s been around for 5 years. I’ve added a lot of parameters to the sort function (Industry, Type & Revenues) to give niche companies more of an opportunity to stand out but there will be cases where the comparisons might not be perfect. However, with growth additional industries & types can (and likely will) be added to the sort thus giving niches more exposure and individuality.

As for the maturity comparison it might be a good idea to add another parameter to the mix that allows one to sort (and compute) benchmarks according to age – for example the metrics for all of those companies in beta. That can then be broken down to all social networks in beta, etc. A visual of how the benchmarks look (and work) can be seen by the video at http://www.tokibiz.net/benchmarks.asp. Of course you can also view the usability of the site (for startups) by registering with Bizak.

Back to the established players, most of the startups who register with Bizak are relatively new. I’m sure over time the age of startups will increase but the big players like Facebook & YouTube will likely not want to reveal their numbers. As I mentioned above a lot of the ideas for Bizak came from the coverage and aggregation of financials (especially earnings) by Wall Street analysts. As you know analysts cover a particular stock and write reports on that stock forecasting their earnings & revenues expectations. Companies like Thomson First Call aggregate this data into “the street” for when the company announces earnings. Having been one of those analysts for 7 years it’s likely that at some point we’ll do our own research on the top internet companies and integrate those numbers into the database and/or create reports for sale integrating all of the data. Of course private firms are not required to reveal this information so a lot of digging will be needed to get costs and revenue data – traffic is obviously easy to find. Via my blog I’ve analyzed some of the big players including YouTubeFacebookMySpace, and for fun Twitter.

I’m a firm believer that internet startups need to also offer “offline” services to their mix. With Bizak I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of services (in addition to the website) that I can see us offering startups in the future. The additional research (above) being one but also a startup’s need to create a professional business valuation/consultation when applying for funding is another. Also, the web development/incubation services that I offer via TOKiBiz is another – infoMedMD is an example of our first venture in this field.

Mashable’s Startup Showdown

September 1, 2008 5 comments

Tom O’Keefe is very excited to announce that Bizak is one of the finalists in Mashable’s Startup Showdown.

The Mashable Startup Showdown is supported by VenCorps, a Spencer Trask “community for discovering, funding and growing startup companies.”  With the Mashable Startup Showdown 9 finalists advance for a chance to win a $50,000 investment from Spencer Trask and 50,000 points to be used within the VenCorps community.

We at Bizak are very excited for this opportunity and recognition.