How to Build a Billion Dollar Startup

The quickest way to create a billion dollar company is to take basic human social needs and figure out how to mediate them on-line.

(Look at the first wave of the web/mobile/cloud startups that have done just that:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Match.com, Pandora, Zynga, WordPress, LinkedIn.)

It’s your turn.

Hard-wired
This week I’m in New York teaching a 5-day version of my Lean LaunchPad class at Columbia University.  While the class teaches a process to search and validate a business model, it does not offer any hints on how to create a killer startup idea.  So after teaching several hundred teams in the last few years, one of my students finally asked this question – “So how do we come up with an idea for the next billion dollar company?”

Is It a Problem or a Need?
I’ve now come to believe that the value proposition in a business model (value proposition is the fancy name for your product or service) fits into either one of two categories:

  • It solves a problem and gets a job done for a consumer or a company (accounting software, elevators, air-conditioning, electricity, tablet computers, electric toothbrushes, airplanes, email software, etc. )
  • Or it fulfills a fundamental human social need (friendship, dating, sex, entertainment, art, communication, blogs, confession, networking, gambling, religion, etc.)

Moving Needs to Bits = a billion dollars
Friendship, dating, sex, art, entertainment, communication, confession, networking, gambling, religion – would our hearts still beat and would our lungs still breathe without them?  Of course.  But these are things that make us human. They are hard-wired into our psyche. We’ve been doing them for ten’s of thousands of years.

Ironically, the emergence of the digital world  has made us more efficient yet has left us with less time for face-to-face interaction. Yet it’s these interactions that define our humanity.

Facebook takes our need for friendship and attempts to recreate that connection on-line.

Twitter allows us to share and communicate in real time.

Zynga allows us to mindlessly entertain ourselves on-line.

Match.com allows us to find a spouse.

At the same time these social applications are moving on-line, digital platforms (tablets and smartphones) are becoming available to hundreds of millions. It’s not hard to imagine that in a decade, the majority of people on our planet will have 24/7 access to these applications. For better or worse social applications are the ones that will reach billions of users.

Yet they are all only less than 5-years old.

It cannot be that today we have optimally recreated and moved our all social interactions on-line.

It cannot be that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pandora, Zynga, LinkedIn are the pinnacle of social software.

Others will do better.

Others will discover the other unmet and unfilled social needs that can move on-line.

It could be you.

Lessons Learned

  • Value propositions come in two forms: they solve a problem or they fulfill a human social need
  • Social Needs are friendship, dating, sex, entertainment, art, communication, blogs, confession, networking, gambling, religion, etc.
  • They have always been fulfilled face-to-face
  • They are now moving on-line
  • The market size for these applications equals the entire human race
  • These are the ultimate applications

Listen to the post here: Download the Podcast here

53 Responses

  1. Steve, excellent article! gives the best insights for tech engineers, that any product/service help a person to get a job done, that it is currently a pain for them with the current solution (missing or existing). Design Thinking as approach gives this mindset, trying to recapture people to look to people, people in their life context, doing ethnography, looking into possible solutions, so the customer discovery process can leverage this mindset (d.school in Stanford), so as said by Alex in conjunction with you on January, create a customer vale map (http://www.businessmodelalchemist.com/2012/01/the-customer-value-canvas-v-0-8.html) and a BMC and go out of the building to search for a viable business.
    Cheers from Brazil,
    Renato http://bmgenbrasil.com

  2. Great post. One big one got left out as a human need ‘information’. In form of news, reviews, hearsay, feedback, etc.,. Millions want to consume information while others want to share it. Looking to make my millions there!

  3. This is one of my leading take away from the class. This immediately stuck with me. Thank you.

  4. I completely agree with you. I believe there are a few social problems that can be solved with the right software.

    For years there’s been a team of us trying to figure out how to approach the global market in a way that best organizes our collective society, and propels us together quicker and more efficiently into the future. Based off our market research, we now know what that is.

    Currently in beta, our platform is about done. And although there are quite a few different possible market entry points, we chose the software and online markets.

    We feel a big problem right now with software, is that the market is too decentralized, and not enough of the right apps communicate together. This leaves businesses, and individuals, left having to use multiple different solutions (from different vendors), to somewhat accomplish what they were hoping to achieve with it. This is a problem, and the process of looking for, testing, implementing, integrating, and training employees on business software is time consuming and costly. And from what our research shows.. Most the time people aren’t happy with what they have (not the right features, workflow, or simply that they are stuck using 5 different softwares that might communicate well — if the APIs are connected)…

    Point is – the company that can effectively organize the entire software market, provide a unified dashboard, consolidated & dedicated support, and a few other things stands to be a multi-billion market. Especially considering the amount of possible partnerships out there.

    Thing is — in order for this to work right, you have to provide the end user (business, then consumer), with an extremely streamlined experience that perfectly pairs them with the right software, the right methodology, etc. while incorporating all other aspects of life (and software) into the same application — what we feel can be done with the right dashboard or intranet.

    Integrate all other social media companies, marketplaces, and services into the same dashboard… And then run analytics on everything. Well you then have a tool, site, company that allows people to connect in ways that streamlines information acquisition and organization. As long as this tool effectively adjusts to preferences and priorities of the different users, you now have a consolidated marketplace and a tool that allows you to get where you’re going in the quickest way possible.

    An entire society with that tool can expand, grow, & react much quicker… Especially if we’re all connected.

    The company that can do this with one tool, with an intuitive interface and menu structure will be a billion dollar company. Damn near overnight. Just need to make sure certain things are done just right, otherwise the system cannot sustain the growth.

    No worries — we’re almost there, and everyone can help ;)

  5. sorry, but this is a big bs article. here is the tl;dr version:

    1 – How to Build a Billion Dollar Startup?
    2 – it will be social, but not facebook
    3 – it could be you

    again steve, where is the how? you may answered the what and where but definitely not the how

    • Looks like the post wasn’t clear enough for it’s point to be understood.
      I wasn’t attempting to explain the “how.”
      If I could I’d be running a venture capital firm.

      The point I was trying to make was that at the highest level of strategy there are two types of value propositions; problems and needs.
      The companies that solve needs are very different than those that solve problems.
      And that billion dollar opportunities are happening rapidly here as platforms to connect socially will soon be in the hands of billions of people.

      This might be intuitively obvious to some of my readers. If so, nothing to see here, move on.
      For others, this is worth thinking about.

      • just learned a good way to answer such type of critics …
        thank you Steve!

      • An underlining point in all of Steve’s literature is that there is no silver bullet. I think this only adds to obvious credibility where as the hacks come off as “read this and your startup will succeed”. This is great info for minimizing our risks by trying to aggregate the upside of several trends into a startup.

        I look forward to the possibility of one day discussing my project with you Steve – wicked cool too that you can watch big cats hunting in your yard, just awesome.

        David Houle

      • Steve,

        Great article, but I would add that even better would be a product that fulfills a social need by solving a problem or vice versa. Perhaps it may not earn billions instantly, but it may be more durable. There may be social needs that are not fulfilled because there is a problem. There are also problems that are not solved because there are unfulfilled social needs. I think the genius is who finds a problem that once solved leads to the fulfillment of a social need or a social need once fulfilled solves a problem. Whether that confuse things in terms of creating a focused company (i.e., creating a company that has two conflicting missions). . . I am not sure, but I think that’s what I am working on. I can’t think of a better inspiration than the work of folks at duolingo (and their previous stuff like captcha and re-capture). The geniuses are solving a few problems while at the same time helping me fulfill a few of my fundamental social needs.

    • I think Steve has given quite a clear starting point to think. Well if you knew it already may be it wasn’t for you.

  6. Great article that gives us hope that we can create the next big thing. However it feels there is a long journey between identifying customer needs and growing into a billion dollar company.

    • How crazy is it that instagram was only 18 months old with 13 employees when it sold for $1B? Fucking totally crazy. For the rest of us, understanding the conceptual framework to rapidly scaling a company can be very helpful. For those who are interested, here’s how to navigate the execution lifecycle from $1 to $1B+ and how it ties into the 4 steps to the Epiphany. http://www.organizationalphysics.com/execution.

      Best, Lex

  7. I’ve un-retired because of exactly the same realization. Working on my (hopefully killer) app.

    As an aside – when you haven’t programmed in a while – ouch! the brain hurts. Like falling off the bike….

  8. Most of these companies are more than 5 years old. Pandora was founded in 2000, match.com was founded much earlier than that. I think that setting the expectation for entrepreneurs that the “norm” is to build a billion dollar company in less than 5 years is not helpful. Indeed, as recently as 2008 Pandora was on the verge of hitting the scrap heap. It’s hard, and these are essentially zero-probability events.

  9. Another insightful post. Thanks Steve. What struck me about creating a billion dollar business by fulfilling a human social need is how simple and focused those early ideas are. Essentially, those ultimately HUGE ideas begin by focusing in on a very simple, almost mundane human need. E.g. “Where are my friends at?” “Is Becky dating anyone?” “I want to share my photos with Kris.” Etc. It is this simple need that is validated (or not) while finding the real product/market fit. A billion dollar social idea is initially created by solving the mundane, not by trying to change the world.

  10. I believe your conclusion is valid. i want to add that the two category can also be further divided into consumer and enterprise/business. Either it solves consumer problem or fulfill consumer need OR it solves enterprise/business problem or fulfill enterprise/business need.
    Of course between the consumer and enterprise the way to monetize or business model are different. – kamar

  11. Am I missing something here Steve? That’s what your students are asking you? “How can we create the next billion dollar idea?” Is creating the next “killer app” still the driving force? We are truly doomed. This country and the world are packed with problems that need solving with good technology + design. The entrepreneurs trying to solve those problems are rarely rewarded with the praise and dollars bestowed on the startups that are reinventing the next better dating site. Your article makes light of any of us who are trying to solve “problems”, making it sound even mundane and not worth the effort, when we could be going after the big bucks. I’m not damning social needs, but geez, couldn’t our social needs be balanced with a bit of “what can I also contribute?” when you talk to future entrepreneurs?. Looking forward to better apps that encourage me to stare at my screen and type away to my friends.

    • “Your article makes light of any of us who are trying to solve “problems”…”

      At times these comments are inkblot tests of the reader.

      • This brings up a point – many seem to feel a divide between “doing good” and making money. Well, what if you help people get what or where they want – is that worthy of monetary compensation? How about we decide to solve “problems” in compelling ways? In fact, we cannot solve problems until the solutions serve needs more effectively than what they are doing now. Our “solutions” must be vastly compelling.

        Until we live in a de-monetized society profit is required. Give more value in use than you receive. Let everything else shake out.

    • You will make money only of you do solve a problem since then only people will pay you, unless you adapt illegal means. Meeting friends online, finding dating partners, sharing photos are also human needs in one way , maybe not essential to live but nevertheless needs that humans enjoy. Not everyone is inclined to solve or wants to solve the biggest problems of humanity and that’s “fine”. I dont think Steve is insinuating that one “type” of problems/needs are better or worse to build a business, just that there are two broad areas where if you can solve peoples problems or address their needs, you could build billion dollar companies.

  12. Great article! Question though – while I agree the fastest growing companies today are on the social need side of things, I imagine there are also a significantly higher number of complete failures here too. While it might take a little longer, is there something to be said for building a billion dollar company that legitimately solves a problem? Examples include the recent Jive Software IPO (Market Cap $1.58B) and companies trending that direction like Skybox Imaging (just announced $70M raise). How do you define the risk factor of predicting/addressing social needs versus solving a real problem? Is it a trade-off of shooting for the moon versus hedging a bet for some level of success? I’m intrigued to know your thoughts. PS. I’m an entrepreneur and have recommended your 4 Steps to the Epiphany book (and the updates via SlideShare) to more people than I can count. Thanks!

  13. “Yet they are all only less than 5-years old.” Not all of them.

    Good post though. What’s amazing to me is the number of people seek (and receive) affirmation through these (and other) services and communities.

    “Am I good?”

    “Yes you are good?

    “How am I good?”

    “You’re good in oh so many ways.”

    “Like what?”

    “Like in seeking affirmation”.

  14. I think facebook is less about friendship and more about people you know, kind of glorified address book with elements of communication and entertainment.

  15. If you want to make money or build a business it’s my opinion that you have a lot better chance solving a problem than trying to “meet a human need”.

    It’s so much harder to quantify and get the right solution and attract an audience that you might as well play the lottery. I am not really sure you can do customer development on “human needs” products either because it’s so random whether you are going to “catch on” with the majority audience you need to make it a success.

    This reminds me a lot of the old b2c vs b2b argument from back in the late 1990′s, but even harder. At least if you were building webvan you were focused on a “problem” of some sort that you were trying to solve. Amazon for instance did great in solving a problem for people who wanted access to a large selection of books at a lower price point.

    But how the heck do you do customer development if you were starting facebook? It seems almost impossible – much more chance and luck – firing something out there and seeing if anyone likes it. Sure you can tweak aspects to overcome challenges- starting out with one college and all edu addresses solved the adverse selection problem for your first audience for example, but other than that, hard to see how an iterative development process could work there.

    I think it would be “nice” to start the next Instagram and make $1B in 19 months, but it would be nice to win the lottery too and the odds are about the same, as are your chances of affecting those odds regardless of your team, skillset or whether you follow CD principles or not. For me, no thanks.

  16. Interesting article, although one can easily name a similar number of recent startups in the “solving a problem” category for enterprise that have become “billion dollar+” companies (and also produce revenue) over the last 5 years?

    Also, after a recent business trip to South East Asia and seeing first hand the emergence of large middle classes who are snapping up smartphones, you can bet (and Ive seen first hand) entrepreneurs from Singapore to Manila to Hong Kong are thinking the exact same thing re: social need app = $$$ potential.

    As a side point: They are also coming up with more innovative ideas to tackle real world problems – ie. farmers using apps for mobile payments in countries where banking access is limited. (A point for Kristee). There is a lot happening around the world that most North Americans have no idea about.

  17. I understand where you’re coming from, but I’d hate to see another swarm of social start-ups launching on this basis! The other day I saw another “social” tool that allowed you to queue up messages to broadcast on your social networks after you die. Good luck to them but outside some PR buzz it really shows how low the bar is going in this area…Everyone is trying to be social, and still too many entrepreneurs trying to be the next Facebook!

    It would be great if Entrepreneurs could focus on building real breakthroughs, that can lead to real sustainable business models. Social seems to be the lowest common denominator right now, its easy to build a social site, easy for less technical people to come up with ideas for, but with so many of them now the whole place seems saturated with pointless start-ups and wasted talents that could be better focused on real problems. (and it seems the Founders Fund agrees with this point too)

    There’s real problems that are worth billions out there still, too many. Its easy to get caught up on the social bandwagon and focus on the 0.005% lucky success stories like Instagram and Facebook, but behind them are thousands of other social start-ups which have no real business model and have fallen by the wayside.

    • Thank you for putting so much more eloquently some of the points I was trying to make as well. I’d like to assume entrepreneurs are motivated by both passion and profit. We just constantly hold these few companies, with their astronomical worth, up as the brass ring. It distorts the reality of what it could mean to build an awesome business worth let’s say,100M, based on solving a problem or a need really well. That’s a successful company, but can be seen as mundane next to the big winners.

  18. Steve,

    I like your distinction between problems and needs. A couple of thoughts from my side.

    Conceptually, I’d hesitate to put the “jobs-to-be-done” concept into the “problem box”. The jobs concept applies to both, needs and problems.

    If somebody wants to display his or her status (or simply show off) by buying and wearing a Swiss Rolex watch it’s a need according to your classification and definitely not a (basic) problem. However, it still remains a “job-to-be-done” – wanting to impress or flash one’s wealth.

    Also, where the real world gets a bit more complicated than theory is when problems and needs both exist in one. When we buy a laptop we are usually solving a problem (one might need one for work, studies, etc.).

    However, the model we chose is influenced by the problem we’re solving, as well as by needs (I’m a Mac vs. I’m a PC). Furthermore, the frequency at which we buy a new laptop (I need the latest Macbook Pro) usually has more to do with needs than with the problem, as you well pointed out with your post on the iPhone’s “tail fins”.

    Probably the most powerful business models are those that transform a (basic) problem into a more social or psychological need (health food anybody?).

    Cheers from Switzerland, A

    • Thanks Alex, found your point about transforming a “problem” into a “need” to be really interesting. Hope others read this far. I would love to see an extended post from either you or Steve to expand on this!

      One question I have. Would this be fundamentally a marketing question (solve a problem and market the solution in a way that appeals to psychological needs) or is there more to it than this?

      Cheers,

      Alex

  19. I think social networking is successful because it plays to one our most basic human characteristics … curiosity.

    Consider “rubber-necking”…. that need to slow down as you pass an auto accident to see what it going on.

    Consider “gossiping” … the desire to know what others are doing, often as a way of measuring your own success (or lack thereof).

    Consider “learning” … the quest for knowledge and/or information itself is often the result of being curious. The more relevant and current, the more satisfying it can be.

    Social networking technology enables fulfillment of our curiosity faster and more convenient. And because people feel satisfaction as this need is fulfilled, they are in turn willing to share information — creating the cycle that makes social networking function.

  20. It’s hard to predict ahead of time which specific mode of human interaction brought online is going to produce a billion dollar startup, but the technology stack available today makes it possible to build and tweak many implementations much easier and cheaper than before. Maybe for that reason I work for a company that supplies an indispensable piece of that technology infrastructure that enables billion dollar startups to be created.

  21. Once someone figures out how we can eat online we’ll create the next Facebook.

  22. [...] o mentor do Eric Ries no desenvolvimento dos conceitos de Lean Startup, postou ontem no seu blog um artigo com um título bem chamativo: “Como construir uma startup de um bilhão de dólares”. [...]

  23. Most of those are not billion dollar businesses. Match for instance is roughly $350-400MM and older than 5 years.

  24. Human need is obviously the end point of every business except perhaps for those few that cater to the greed of individuals and governments.

    Almost every business including a convenience store next door addresses a human need. That however, is no guarantee for every convenience store to become a billion dollar business unless of course, these turn in to retail chains

    Human needs range over a vast spectrum from absolute necessities to frivolous fancies like gossip. There are billion dollar businesses selling oil as well as among the new breed social networking sites.

    However, meeting human needs is not always a front end business like what Facebook is. Intel is also a billion dollar business that is at the back end of the value propositions that front end consumer businesses like Facebook offer. In fact, the success of front end consumer businesses depend on the markets opened up by back end operators like computer and mobile manufacturers

    Market opportunities for front end consumer businesses open up at the confluence of technological feasibility provided by the back room boys and the spectrum of consumer needs. That is where most of these new social networking sites are trying to make their billions

    What cannot be ignored at the same time is the fact that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Match.com, Pandora, Zynga, WordPress, LinkedIn, etc. are not the only companies that tried to exploit this market space. There have been many others. Many failed thanks to technology shifts. The new breed is fortunate to have more stable technology paradigm within which they operate now. Technologies can change and some of these could fail too.

    In my view ‘PENNY WISE’ has been one of the key winning strategies for billion dollar businesses. If your business is built to live by making billions just by pinching a few pennies from 10 billion consumers, you always have a greater chance of making sustainable billions. That is exactly what Google does and Coke and Pepsi do.

    Whether you solve a problem or meet a direct need would only determine if you would be at the back end or front end of the value proposition. Only penny wise strategies would enable businesses to rake in the billions

  25. The definition of a human need have been pretty badly twisted in the last few decades. Especially since modern marketing started taking center stage and make us think that we “need” a lot of things that we really don’t, like that new $400 designer jeans or that shiny new iPhone. I’d argue that the distinction that you’re making between those two categories is just semantics and any product that’s “solving a problem” can also be cast as “addressing a need” and vice versa. A lot of this comes from the duality of “value” (things that have functional value, like water vs. things that have tradability value, like a gold bar). Unfortunately price often represents only the latter.
    I know this is probably off-topic for an e-ship blog, but I would have liked to see more entrepreneurs trying to find the intersection between trying to solve/address a real societal problem/need (hunger, shelter, access to water, inequality) and financial sustainability (profits).

  26. I’d argue that the distinction that you make is pure semantics. Any product that’s “solving a problem” can be cast as “addressing a need” and vice versa. The deeper issue is the broadening of the definition of “need” in the past few decades to include things that we really don’t need, like those $400 designer jeans or that new shiny iPhone.
    I know this is probably off-topic for an e-ship blog, but I would have liked to see more entrepreneurs trying to find the intersection of solving/addressing real societal problems/needs (hunger, shelter, inequality, access to water) and financial sustainability (profits) and thought leaders such as yourself encouraging them to do so.

  27. Talk about serendipity :)

    Running a four month startup about managing social networks, getting users but not really any engagement worth mentioning. So, sent a survey asking our active users what do they think about the service after using it for a couple of months and what do you think we can do better?

    What astonished me not the variation of responses but the similarity in one of the questions the users will almost always answer with “Its a nice idea but …..” The similarity in difference in they

    So, I asked myself what makes me check out Quora on a daily basis even though I did not get any notifications and I don’t have any answers or questions?

    [This was last Friday - and I only read your article today - this is the serendipity part]

    What is that THING which makes me check Quora daily and while digging deeper I found it was the enjoyment of discovering new questions/answers on topics I follow and enjoy [fulfills a fundamental human need] the joy of discovering new content! Then it was so clear what I had to do “an epiphany – you might say” and working on it right now and hopefully I might have positive things to share about this experiment.

    If I may add on your post, If your startup has a clear cut obvious problem that it trays to solve then sure the “Solving a problem” fits you perfectly (Mint, Slideshare, docstoc and so forth)

    However, if your startup is something like Twitter “at that time” really solving a problem does not fit them – not clear – and I think it does not help in crossing the chasm, but if you spin it as fulfilling a human need [Twitter - Follow Your Interest] then your message and what your trying to do becomes clear to your users!

    Thank you and sorry for the long reply :)
    Turki

  28. [...] Blanks says: The quickest way to create a billion dollar company is to take basic human social needs and [...]

  29. Innovation requires more than entrepreneurship that creates a single new business. Coordinated VALUE CHAIN INNOVATION is required that creates a group of new businesses with standard platforms that combine to form dominant designs. For example, if Intel had created the microprocessor but Microsoft hadn’t done an operating system and HP hadn’t done printers and Dell hadn’t been around to assemble them, the personal computer industry or what Geoffrey Moore calls a “whole product” would not have happened. The fourth generation (4G) of innovation theory and practice is required to create coordinated value chain innovation. Innovation is a team sport which coordinates teams of companies in a value chain to provide solutions.

  30. Not to be mean, but tell me: How many billion dollars startups have you created?

    • 1 as a co-founder
      2 as the VP of Marketing

    • based on wikipedia.org :
      Subsequent to dropping out of the University of Michigan, Steve Blank arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, as boom times began. His early startups include two semiconductor companies, Zilog and MIPS Computers (now MIPS Technologies); Convergent Technologies; a consulting stint for Pixar; a supercomputer firm, Ardent Computer; peripheral supplier, SuperMac Technologies; a military intelligence systems supplier, ESL; Rocket Science Games.[3] Steve co-founded startup number eight, E.piphany, in his living room in 1996. After retiring from E.piphany the day before its IPO in September 1999, Blank served on two public boards (Macrovision and Immersion) and several private companies. He continues to selectively invest and advise Silicon Valley startups such as Votizen.

  31. Very true post, although it’s not easy what so ever. But it has to be a basic need, with a reasonably large market. Or rather, A service/product that is needed by a large number of people.

  32. I agree that there is a lot of possibility to make money if you are able to solve a human social need online.

    However, history has also shown that it is possible to loose a lot of money if you are really on top about what people wants.

    Look at Friendster and Myspace – 2 very popular platforms before, but they have simply not been able to adjust and clearly focus to give people what they want.

  33. [...] It is difficult to differentiate between what will last and what will fade. I think products that fulfill basic human needs will sustain while a lot of “non-franchise worthy” games will fade in [...]

  34. [...] entrepreneur and professor of entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley and Standford, wrote a blog post on how to build a billion dollar startup . In his post, Blank classifies the value proposition in a billion dollar business model into [...]

  35. Steve,

    You took my thoughts into words, so I must say thank you for that.

    But I have a last question which I haven’t been able to answer and this is has to deal with customer development so I think you could give us a good advice.

    We have done some surveys and everything points that people would love to use our app, the thing is that often in the office you hear “Since we are polling friends their answers are biased to say yes” or “People often will say something but when the moment to take action comes they wouldn’t do it”

    How would you resolve this problem? What is the right way to do this?

  36. Great post Steve. Products that solve a problem seem more difficult to go viral. You have to acquire users one at a time. Products that fulfill a need tend to work better with more users, thus, if they are truly great products, they can take off faster. Today, with all of the social platforms to leverage, getting your product to go viral is easier than ever (but not necessarily likely).

  37. I agree with the part where you have to address needs and address problems and I’m awed by the Apple way where they just come up with such amazing products(making that product a need) and make billions of dollars selling just electronic equipments like Sony,Philips and the rest of the gang But all needs in your article have been addressed online now by fb zinga skype linkedin youtube google……….there is space online for marketing and one could move that way but there are a million sites already.And all these super duper billionaire companies started off say about 10 years ago.The future billionaires are gonna come from elsewhere and no one would know it now.Like we didn’t know it in 2003-04-05.Personally I think the online party is over,I’m not saying that there wont be anymore online billionaires,and tons of money would be made online(online is a part of life now and there are companies which employ 100s of intelligent men to look out for that space to duplicate or buy the idea).But a bunch of guys in jeans and in their early 20s making it online is over.That playground is somewhere else

  38. [...] per un’azienda, startup o meno, sia l’ascolto dei potenziali clienti e dei loro problemi (qui un interessante articolo dal blog di Steve Blank, professore di Entrepreneurship a Berkeley), la [...]

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