Reaching Escape Velocity

Jeff’s new column at ZDNet get’s off to a great start with a piece called Innovation2.0. He talks about the dilema of the web2.0 company, and how to succeed they must reach “escape velocity”.

It is now clear that successful Web 2.0 companies will be the ones managing to reach “escape velocity”, which basically means attracting millions of users, with a big zero cost of acquisition, at a rate of tens of thousands new users signing on per day. These “must join” networks (MySpace, Skype, potentially the Facebook) have risen to levels of usage and popularity that created strongholds very difficult to duplicate. Interestingly, technology had nothing to do with the differentiation at all, and sort of proves Ross Mayfield’s statement that Wed 2.0 is made of people (or the network thereof) – at least as a valuation metric. However, a majority of community-based services will take a long time to reach escape velocity on their own, which means that they will need a real business model and/or benefit from someone else’s user base through distribution deals–relying therefore on larger networks

We certainly expect one of our new company’s products to reach escape velocity in short order, if we didn’t, why would we be doing it?

The questions now is exit strategy, sellout to VC funding in order to maintain/reach that velocity or flash our boobs at larger companies and hope for a buyout?


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