An Exit Strategy is NOT a Business Strategy

17 Aug

Business Model GraphicBuilding on the comments I posted earlier today about the acquisition of Where I’ve Been, and partially motivated through comments on that post, I realize it is important to add two additional thoughts.

First, “Where I’ve Been” has managed to avoid one of the most challenging elements of business creation, which is to actually build a business model and strategy. That Ulliott was able to get $3 million for a business that had neither is surprising, impressive, and more than a little bit disturbing. Attempting to replicate his success in planning for an exit would be wise, but emulating Ulliott’s dismissal of the question of a business model would be foolish. He has passed on the question of how to monetize his application to a new owner, but the question will still have to be answered.  (Though TripAdvisor seems well positioned to answer it)

Second, in response to Tony and Jackson’s comments on the possibilities for SeedHive, this does, indeed, seem to be an area of possible unmet need. Could SeedHive help bridge the gap between developers with the skill to “build things” and the business folk with the ability to “sell things”? [Which is how I interpret Tony’s “build great teams to do great things”] It’s an interesting proposal and one to noodle on. At the most basic level, it would require that the site was able to attract both sides of that puzzle by being relevant to both. It would also need to do this better than the likes of PartnerUp, which I believe it could do through the integration of social networking and idea collaboration.

One Response to “An Exit Strategy is NOT a Business Strategy”

  1. Jackson August 19, 2007 at 4:35 pm #

    One thing to keep in mind — not everything we build is meant to be a business. I can’t speaks for Ulliott, but I suspect many of the Facebook apps out there were built on a whim or as a side project, with no expectations of them becoming a “business.”

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