January 4, 2010

A New Decade, Thousands of new Opportunities


I apologize for not writing a post in some time, I have been furiously busy with my startup trying to lay the last few foundations before my website goes live. I also took an amazingly relaxing holiday seeing my family back in Pretoria, and ended the decade with a kick-ass new years eve party in Cape Town.

Are you ready for this year? This is indeed the year in which so many technologies and concepts will gain ground. There are so many opportunities this year that it is easy to get distracted. Currently, my head is riding on the wave of some great hits we are going to experience this year:

  1. The world cup 2010 in South Africa may be the single biggest business opportunity this country has ever experienced.
  2. Now that mobile markets have saturated in SA, companies are looking for a way to make the platform much more useful and learning how to monetize it. Huge Media and their Goodyz app comes to mind.
  3. Location based services are sprouting all over the place. From Foursquare to Gowalla, to the Grid in South Africa, many companies are getting on the wagon.
  4. Cloud computing is slowly becoming mainstream – even for companies. You know there’s potential when Amazon and Microsoft are both heavily invested in it.
  5. Digital interactions for companies are becoming increasingly important. How a company presents itself and interacts with its customers on all the social networks has becoming crucial for catching trends, responding to threats and  crowd-sourcing issues and ideas.

With so many opportunities, it’s easy to run amuck with what you really want to do. I recently found an excellent post by Twitter founder Evan Williams on how to evaluate a new product idea. Basically, if you want your business to work, you have to have a full-on “YES” in each of these categories:

Tractability
Question: How difficult will it be to launch a worthwhile version 1.0?

Obviousness
Question: Is it clear why people should use it?

Deepness
Question: How much value can you ultimately deliver?

Wideness
Question: How many people may ultimately use it?

Discoverability
Question: How will people learn about your product?

Monetizability
Question: How hard will it be to extract the money?

Personally Compelling
Question: Do you really want it to exist in the world?

Good luck with all your ventures in 2010, may it be a great and prosperous one.

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