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Posts Tagged ‘Tom OKeefe’

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.

Exit Strategy

August 6, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the most important (but likely most overlooked) decisions when starting a startup is your exit strategy. Like it or not you’re going to get tired of working 8 days a week and there will come a day (especially if you’re a one man operation) when you’ll want to walk away.  After years of hard work you’re not going to just turn off the power switch, no way!!  Either you’ll want to hand over the reigns to a trusted associate or better yet you would like to get bought out.  Whichever one it is you should probably start thinking about it before you get burnt out.

Not until I grew tired of running Research Connect did I realize how important an exit strategy was – before that day I never thought about it.  Research Connect was a one man operation (aka Me) and unfortunately when I grew tired of the company I still needed to find someone to buy it – that was the hard (and exhausting) part. Exhausting because it took me approximately sixteen months to find a buyer for the company. Sixteen months after I had already became burnt out.  

So it’s best to have an exit strategy on day 1, even if you never think you’ll need it.  If you have investors then you better make sure your exit plan matches theirs, because they certainly have an exit plan for you.

Mass High Tech

Bizak and TOKiBiz are once again featured in Mass High Tech, a Boston tech newspaper. This week’s article, “Bizak Checks Startup’s Profitability“, focuses on Bizak whereas last week’s, “TOKiBiz Launches Laest Dot-Com Health Website” featured infoMedMD.

Free or Not Free?

April 9, 2008 3 comments

When starting a startup one of the most difficult (and essential) tasks is to determine the revenue model. Today there are a lot of great Web 2.0 applications – the technology is amazing and the progress is very exciting. However, as good as the technology is a lot of them lack any sort of revenue model. The majority of them rely on Google Adsense to cover the bills and I assume rely on prayer to get bought out. Google Adsense is not a revenue model!

Building tremendous technology can be very difficult but being able to monetize that application is often a daunting task – especially for the very technical. Daunting because figuring out what people will pay for with a subscription model is very difficult. First off an application that targets a younger, non-professional, market is going to have a very difficult time generating revenues. This younger market has grown up with the web and everything has been free for them. This age group has also become immune to advertising. They know how to ignore banners and they know what Google Adsense looks like – no matter how well it blends into your design and content.

As I mentioned above Google Adsense is not a business model – it also doesn’t generate significant income for the majority of websites. I feel that if you’re targeting a professional market and you’re using Adsense then it will work against you. If you need Adsense to supplement your revenues then your business is probably not thriving and therefore I will likely go somewhere else. There is of course in-house advertising which can be very lucrative, however, it requires a lot more work, traffic, creativity and a niche market.

So when building a startup a lot of the revenue model decisions come down to should we give everything away for free and use an advertising model or should we go with a subscription model? First off I’m not a fan of giving away services for free! Once you’ve given something away for free it becomes virtually impossible to ever charge for that service in the future. You can always start off with not free and then revert to free if subscriptions don’t work. However, you can’t go from free to not free!

One of the main reasons why I don’t like free is because it diminishes the value of your subscribers. It still amazes me that people will sign up for anything as long as it’s free. They might not like the service but they like free so they’ll register with your site. Obviously this boosts your subscriber totals, however, it doesn’t create loyal customers and the quality of those subscribers is low.

Now if that subscriber paid for your service then you know he/she really values your work, finds it useful and will likely use the service again. Obviously your subscriber totals will be lower but you’ll have revenues from loyal subscribers.

So with that comes my belief that there are two types of prices – Free and Not Free. There are some people who won’t pay anything for a service – they only want it if it’s $0.00. These people don’t care if it’s $4 or even $1, if it’s not Free then it’s not for them.

The second price is Not Free and this relates to people who value the service you built and will pay to use it. Unlike free, which gives you zero flexibility, not free comes with a range of flexibility. Depending on the service offered if you’re able to target the people who will pay Not Free for your service then the actual price you charge isn’t a determining factor. For example, if you sell high end information services to professionals then it’s not going to matter if you charge $500 or $900 for that service. This person wants the service you offer and price (within reason) won’t make a difference. Just like on the lower end, if they’re willing to pay $5 then they will likely pay $10.

In sum, applications built on a subscription and/or service model which targets professionals and/or a niche market are my favorites!

Video of this Post

Comparative Analysis on Bizak.com

After many long months Bizak is almost ready to launch. We just finished our comparative analysis page (click image below for screen shot) and we will be opening up our tools for startups shortly. After a few weeks of data aggregation we’ll be opening up the site to investors and professionals.

Questions? Please feel free to contact me.
Link? www.Bizak.com
Spread the word!

Benchmarking Web 2.0

March 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Bizak Screen Shot

Well, after many months of development (and 2 months behind schedule) Bizak is soon set to release. The screen shot above gives you an idea of what Bizak looks like. The text below gives you an idea on what it will accomplish. To receive an invitation to our launch please click the link below:

Request an Invitation to Bizak’s Launch

www.Bizak.com

Entrepreneurs use Bizak to calculate the profitability of their business according to website analytics and key performance indicators. With visitors, revenues and costs data, Bizak automatically computes revenues per visitor (RPV), costs per visitor (CPV), earnings (profit/loss), earnings per visitor (EPV) and valuation (The Bizak Estimate.) Each one of these calculations can then be compared to other startups and industry benchmarks. With these calculations entrepreneurs are then invited to join Bizak’s elite network of investors and business professionals who are eager to invest in your profitability.

Investors use Bizak to discover new investment opportunities. From the calculation of comparative benchmarks investors can evaluate the earnings potential of startups in comparison to their competitors and industry. The Bizak Estimate gives investors an approximate valuation of internet startups based on revenues, traffic and EPV. This valuation can then be compared to other startups and the industry mean. Investors can also quickly calculate high and low valuations from a range of revenue multipliers.

Professionals use Bizak’s comparative traffic analysis to discover new advertising and business opportunities. With Bizak professionals can target business partners according to industry, application type and revenue source. Startups can then be sorted and compared according to traffic, revenues, RPV, costs, CPV, EPV, earnings and the Bizak Estimate. Click on a specific company and it will provide you with their business summary, contact information, and monthly results.

Bizak is a TOKiBiz

Calculating & Creating Web 2.0 Profitability

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

YouTube Revenue Valuation Including Costs Bizak calculates the web’s profitability via tools like our EPV calculator to your right. We help startups create profitability by connecting them with business and investors.

Through our advanced earnings calculators Bizak enables startups to calculate their profit/loss and marketing costs. Through our network of investors and business professionals startups are able to create profitability by both lowering costs and increasing revenues from new business and investments opportunities.

By aggregating this data we provide startups, entrepreneurs, investors and business with valuable statistics like the charts below.

Product Sales

Earnings, Product Sales, Google Adsense, Subscriptions, Services, Consulting

Types of Internet Startups

Types of Internet Startups & Websites

Advertising Business Model

Revenue Models of Web Internet Startups