Neopets.com is one of the most addicting web sites ever built, with its virtual pets and 160 free games and community features for kids. Harvard Business Review published a case study about Neopets showing how it reached profitability in 1999 after just four months in business. By 2001 it had 65 employees and $15 million in revenue.
In the early 90\’s, many CD ROM publishers did very well. The Bureau of Electronic Publishing had a catalog with thousands of popular titles.
In the late 90\’s, content migrated to the web. \”Content is King\” was the theme of many internet conferences. Many content companies did very well–some with advertising business models, some with ecommerce, and some with subscription business models.
In the future, the same content that drove CD ROM sales and mass adoption of the internet will migrate to cell phones and other portable devices.
Once again Google surprised the street with much higher than expected earnings. The stock price has jumped $20 today to more than $210 per share and the market cap is almost $58 billion.
I will not be surprised to see consistent positive earnings surprises coming from Google for many years.
Last year Steve Nelson, founder of Unishippers spoke at the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum. Among other excellent comments he indicated that franchisees are far more successful at staying in business than other startups. His statistic was that 94% of franchises are still in business in five years compared to only 15% of other startups.
I heard a great story on NPR a couple weeks ago about a woman who was born in Afghanistan but raised in Australia. She visited Kabul earlier this year and discovered that there was no phone book or at least no yellow pages. (That kind of blows my mind–the population is more than 2 million!) She decided to do something about that and apparently is now publishing the first Kabul yellow pages, with more than 100,000 phone numbers listed (almost all cell phone numbers) from businesses and merchants.
I am fascinated by IT Conversations. This is an audio service using podcasting to deliver up to 140 megabytes of audio \”conversations\” daily with IT experts. The founder has a very useful service and apparently a large number of users.
Now he is asking for his customers to help him find a business model that will keep the service alive.
Guy Kawasaki says in business, before you think about money, you should think about \”making meaning.\” You should want to change the world and make it a better. I don\’t know anyone who does this better than Google.