Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Will It Take For a Web Hang SiteTo Be the Next No. 1? - Portals: "Second only to watching a company achieve great technological and business success, there is nothing Silicon Valley enjoys more than figuring out how, once attained, that company's success might be outdone. A great deal of this scheming is currently directed at MySpace, the social-networking site that has become the online equivalent of the local mall, a place for teens and twentysomethings to spend lots of time -- lots! -- hanging out.
Because the MySpace business story couldn't be simpler or more spectacular -- two friends start it in 2003 and 24 months later it's bought by News Corp. for $580 million -- there are now dozens of start-ups trying to do to MySpace what MySpace did to the first big social-networking site, Friendster. (Buyouts are being made all the time, like the $102 million Viacom said it will spend for Xfire, a gaming site.)
Hundreds of business books and untold thousands of hours of consultants' time have been devoted to advice on how to make these sorts of industry 'disruptions' happen. Many are a combination of deft strategizing, shameless copying, wishful thinking -- and some grasping at straws.
Always curious about how entrepreneurs approach the chessboard of competition, I found four MySpace pretenders and asked each the same question: If there is going to be the next MySpace, why is it going to be you? The question is necessary because to the casual observer, most of these sites look the same."

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