Archives for: March 2007


As an entrepreneur starting a Web 2.0 company, I have often made the mistake of adopting the “build-it-and-they-will-come” attitude toward our offerings. As I mentioned in a previous article, it is seductive to draw comparisons with significant trends (social networking, Web 2.0, SaaS, Enterprise 2.0, Services 2.0 etc) and large success stories (Google, Yahoo, eBay,, and think “If only we could capture 3% of that market …” There are a slew of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs out there today who are thoroughly convinced that their offerings will change the world, but are not seeing any market traction.

I was reading a book called Freakonomics on a flight home and had a moment of clarity. In this book, the authors talk about all human behavior being influenced by three types of incentives; financial, social and moral. They go on to explain several confounding phenomenon just based on this premise.

I started thinking about using just this approach to predict whether Web 2.0 offerings would gain traction. Very simply, think of your offerings as an incentive program. What is in it for the user to get excited about using your offerings? What is his financial incentive to do so? What is his social incentive to do so? And in the case of not-for-profit organizations, what is his moral incentive to do so? If you have compelling answers to do the above questions, you offerings will probably gain traction. If not, starting working on your next idea.

Now I realize that taking a hard look at the value of a company’s offerings is not really a novel idea. But I do think that thinking about Web 2.0 offerings (the audience for which is typically an individual) as an incentive program makes a lot of sense.



Permalink 289 words by Sampath, 1597 views • Send feedback


04:12:20 pm, Categories: Entrepreneurship, SalesQB Diary  

This is an attempt at maintaining a journal on how SalesQB evolves over its lifecycle. If things go well, hopefully this journal will serve as somewhat of a blueprint for successfully launching start-ups. If not, well, you will get some concrete ideas on what NOT to do!

For obvious reasons, this journal is a bit dated. That is, I will describe what SalesQB’s inner workings and machinations were for the previous year. We continue to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are smarter than the rest and that we are working on ideas that no one else knows about …

Happy reading.


Permalink 103 words by Sampath, 1609 views • Send feedback