Global Economic Meltdown: Time for Startups to Explore New Monetization Strategy
by Pierre Coupet
Virtual Organization Management and Web 2.0 to the Rescue
Fortunately, for a small number of startups who are bold, daring and forward-looking enough, the right combination of Web 2.0 and Virtual Organization Management can help usher in a new monetization strategy era for them so they won't have to needlessly suffer the fate of dinosaurs. Virtual Organization Management (VOM)--a modern discipline which establishes best-next practices, policies and procedures for operating in a virtual environment and for managing a virtual organization and social network--can help reduce your start-up costs by as much as 95% as well as exponentially increase your revenues; and is THE KEY that unlocks most--if not all--previous constraints and limits you faced with respect to the development of a monetization strategy in either a brick and mortar or virtual environment. Your imagination becomes the only limit you will ever face. Whereas, Web 2.0 provides you with all the tools you will ever need in order to implement your new monetization strategy. The statement that best captures the essence of VOM and Web 2.0 is the following: "VOM gives you the freedom to chart your own destiny and Web 2.0 gives you the tools to implement." For purposes of this discussion, more about VOM can be viewed on the Virtual Organization Management Institute blog at http://www.virtualorganization.net
Burn the Midnight Oil for Revenues First, Investors Last
Once you have put in place the right combination of VOM and Web 2.0, the REAL solution is for entrepreneurs to really start thinking-out-of-the-box when it comes to a monetization strategy instead of the standard "got an idea, go to an investor, burn some cash, go back for more cash, burn more cash, get plenty of eyeballs, and hope that, eventually, over God knows how much time, revenue can be generated from product sales or advertising." How about Burning the Midnight Oil trying to figure out the "killer value" of your offering and who your first "paying customers" are going to be? For those of you in the western world who are too young to be familiar with the [old] expression, "burn the midnight oil", it's primarily used to indicate commitment, hard work, and dedication to one's task by working during the wee hours of the night under an oil lamp when there is no electricity.
Some Practical Pre-launch Ideas: ASK, ASK, ASK, ASK, ASK
1. ASK some of your "future paying customers", before you even launch your business, if your product or service is something they have an urgent need for because it would solve an existing problem or issue for them NOW (assuming your product or service really worked the way you say it would.)
2. ASK them to GIVE YOU--instead of you giving them--specific examples of how your product or service would make life much better for them and how it would positively affect their bottom line...good reverse psychology....after all, if they really understood the value of what you are offering, then who would be in a better position to have this sort of information?...certainly NOT YOU, an outsider who doesn't know a darned thing about the inner workings of their company and the day-to-day issues they have to deal with.
3. ASK them if it is something they would pay for, and at which price point--besides FREE--your product or service would be attractive enough to get them to at least try it upon release.
4. ASK them what kind of guarantee do they expect and then you can figure out what kind of guarantee you are willing to provide to these paying customers who are willing to try your products just in case they are not satisfied.
5. ASK them if they are willing to make an "informal-no guarantees" purchase commitment to you before you roll out the product...that's your way of distinguishing from those who are just blowing smoke up yours and those who are genuine.
6. Once you have obtained all this information gathered from step 1-5, you will now get a chance to find out: (i) YOUR REAL VALUE PROPOSITION, (ii) how much money you will REALLY need to get your business off the ground, (iii) whether you can build it slowly and profitably in an organic fashion or whether you really need an investor to help you get it off the ground OR whether you should even go ahead with the idea.
Long Hard Road but a Golden Opportunity for Success
I know it's tedious, may take a long time, can be very discouraging because you're bound to get a lot of negative feedback from people who may not clearly understand what the hell it is you are offering as well as from those who could care less about what you have to offer. Keep in mind that when people have difficulty understanding what it is that you are offering, the problem lies with you, the messenger--and not with them. That means you will need to go back to the drawing board in order to refine your message. The simpler the message, the better. The more complicated it gets, the greater the level of difficulty at getting your message through.
A lot of well-meaning, as well as mean-spirited, people may try to pierce some holes into your armor in order to point out some weaknesses in your arguments or value proposition. Some people will just outright ignore you because they are just not interested in helping you do your homework either because they don't have the time or they figure you can contact them once you've got everything figured out, have a product or service in place in roll out condition, and then they might give you the time of day. But when you really take the time to look at the bright side of things, just to have known or come across all these individuals is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY--a gift and blessing in disguise--that will help make you a much better business person-entrepreneur and which will help guarantee your success. Whether they are The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, in some strange fashion, you will owe your success to ALL of them.
The point being, target paying customers FIRST before you even launch. This is standard research which can be accomplished over the web at absolutely very little to no cost to you the entrepreneur, outside of your own sweat and tears. And with the right combination of VOM and Web 2.0, The Sky is the Limit!
on The New Virtual Organization World Consortium