Well there is some good news for young entrepreneurs out there.
- Google released Google Apps which can be used by for your websites email, hosting needs. You can use all the google applications (Gmail, Gtalk, Google docs, Calendar, Page Creator etc) for your site and all for free. This really helps one to focus more on the functionality and features of their website rather than wasting time in maintaining such trivial things. (Altertunes currently uses Google Apps without any problem)
- In competition, Microsoft too have released Startup Center and Microsoft Office Live Basics, which includes Business plans for startups, Domain names, webspace and hosting with metrics, Accounting software, tools and etc.
- And, Finally Yahoo India too started a similar thing for small businesses called Yahoo Small Business. However this comes at a nominal price of Rs 999/- per year (which is acceptable considering they give you domain name registration with this). The package includes Domain Name, Free 200 Business email ids, Site Solutions to design Website, 5 GB disk space, 200 GB data transfer and some free Ads slots.
Not to forget that Google have already released Google App Engine a few weeks ago which allows you to execute your application on google infrastructue.
Surely the competition in the market is benefiting the small entrepreneurs in the market.
Take full advantage of this and All the best for your startup.
Lets talk something about startups, thinking and effort that goes behind them.
I never thought of coming up with Altertunes. It was more of a learning process which eventually transformed into a passion to build a professional website. But then it is never easy to think of an idea which can click for you over internet now-a-days. However in my case, my music technology background combined with my passion to play music, drove me to work on something which can help users maintain their music online.
But, what if I was not a guitarist, or what if I would have chosen some other field to work upon in my college days. A website over music won’t have been my first choice then. This brings us to a question, what factors influence someone, to start a website on a particular idea ?
Here I have tried to jot down a few things that I learnt from my experiences while working upon Altertunes :
- Idea behind your website: Most important aspect which influences the success or failure of a website is the idea which it runs upon. In todays world, where people have succeeded doing almost everything which they can think of, its tough to come up with an original idea. You think of something and you will find hundreds of websites offering the same service in some or the other mode. If you happen to find an idea which hasn’t been implemented yet, you are a successful person. But the story doesn’t end over here.
- Look out, do some research: Before I started working on the ideas driving Altertunes, I thought of many more ideas to implement. While a few of them were already in place and implemented by others, rest were impossible to implement due to some technical limitations. If you happen to think of an idea which is unique, and you are feeling happy about it, better stop by and look why hasn’t the idea already been implemented ?
- Who are your targeted users ? More the number of targeted users, more is the possibility of your website to be a hit (as simple as that!). But in reality, it doesn’t simply end here. In the case of Altertunes, which happens to be an online music management website targeting users who love listening to music. But this doesn’t qualify all music listeners as users for Altertunes. Why would someone come to a website, and stream a song to listen to it ? Why not listen to the same songs locally (i.e. on their PCs) ? Similarly, if your website focuses on musicians and not music lovers, that further, narrows down the margin. Finally, your targeted region (Indian sub-continent, US, Europe etc) also makes a huge impact on the number of users your website targets.
- Does your website live up to users’ expectations ? After the birth of Google and other companies who have used Ajax and other technologies to build their websites, the expectation threshold of the users from a website has increased many folds. Spell Checker, Auto Suggest, Dynamic web pages are a few things I can think of, which a general user will expect from a website nowadays. So even if your idea is unique, it doesn’t guarantee your website a top ranking in Alexa. So better look out for a good coder or designer who can implement all the know how of web 2.0.
- Revenue and Publicity – Have you thought about it ? One of the initial mistakes I made with Altertunes was, I never thought about the revenue and publicity factor for it. Though revenue doesn’t matter to Altertunes at this point in time, but it will soon become a factor as the traffic increases. With more users expecting same level of service you will some really good servers for your website, and they doesn’t come for less nowadays. So better think of a revenue system for your website before you release it. Secondly, I never thought about how will I make Altertunes reach to the masses. I always thought that my Gmail friend list of 1120 will be more than sufficient to publicize Altertunes. Nowadays an Orkut and Facebook application is must for your website to be a hit among masses. So add these two components to your game plan.
Probably this can be a never ending list of things, but I have tried to jot down some of the most essential ones here. If you think any of the important point which I have missed discussing here, feel free to post the same here.
All the best for your Startup 🙂