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November 14, 2005

One Year Wait…

Most successful internet people I have talked with have had one thing in common: a one (or more) year wait.

Surely by freak accident or market timing some people stumble upon a good idea or business opportunity which is instantly profitable, but most web based business models require significant investment in time. You don’t need as much money on the web as you do off the web to get by, but you need to be willing to wait.

Many of the people making a packet off contextual advertising overnight also had sites that had built up trust in the search engines for a number of years. If your initial results are not amazing right off the start do not give up too early.

Also sometimes a site has much greater longterm value if you worry about making it as linkable as possible off the start, and then look to profit later.

It makes sense for people to sell how quick they done well because a story like that makes it easier to:

  • get press mentions (unfortunatley society seems a bit much focused on money and stating success in terms of dollars is newsworthy if the results are fast)
  • sell a system to help others be as successful as they are doing the same thing

If you are around long enough, and look at the patterns in the search results and press you will notice they often overlap. If you take it a step further you can see that perhaps the story being sold to the press sometimes sends some marginally profitable businesses into hypergrowth.

Seth Godin has a book called All Marketers Are Liars, which talks about story telling to consumers. Frequently the press likes the same types of stories as consumers do, because at the end of the day they have to compete on slimming margins due to the robust number of alternatives to mainstream press and the limitations to bias in mainstream news.

Post partially inspired by a chat with Andy Hagans.

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