SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

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CrashedMint
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:08 pm

I honestly think it's not a bit more retarded than twitter or foursquare and it's genuinely new, easy and useful. In fact I find it most surprising that nobody has done it yet.So what do I do to make it happen?I have no money (I spend all my disposable income on me and my girlfriend's lifestyle and we can't really cut back), and I have no clue how web apps are developed. I'm not that bad at C++ though and I think I can recognize when a website looks good, and when not.
 
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trackstar
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:13 pm

Write it up as a short business plan - outline the concept and the technology required to deliver it, estimate market size, assess competitors, create financial projections.Present to potential investors.Does your girlfriend like peanut butter sandwiches?Better get used to them.
 
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CrashedMint
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:19 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: trackstarWrite it up as a short business plan - outline the concept and the technology required to deliver it, estimate market size, assess competitors, create financial projections.Present to potential investors.Does your girlfriend like peanut butter sandwiches?Better get used to them. The thing is, the idea is really simple. If I was an investor I would be like: "Thanks jerk! Byebye, we will do this on our own and get 100% of the potential profits." My input is the idea, so when the idea is on the table, I don' have anything else to offer.
 
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trackstar
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:28 pm

I'm afraid that I hear this too much. If the idea is worth pursuing, it is worth taking the time to flesh it out, using the steps that I have outlined. If you are unwilling to even sit down with investors, then you have to find a way to fund the project yourself.Amazon was a simple idea - sell books online.Bezos wrote a plan, got money, and is worth how many billion today?Being a Bibliophile, I had the same idea in the same timeframe BTW, but Jeff got there first.
 
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trackstar
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:32 pm

Mini-Case Study: AmazonAmazon was founded in 1994, spurred by what Bezos called "regret minimization framework", his effort to fend off regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush. Company lore says Bezos wrote the business plan while he and his wife drove from New York to Seattle, although that account appears to be apocryphal.The company began as an online bookstore; while the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs for books might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could offer more. Bezos named the company "Amazon" after the world's largest river. Since 2000, Amazon's logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing customer satisfaction (as it forms a smile); a goal was to have every product in the alphabet.Amazon was incorporated in 1994, in the state of Washington. In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on amazon.com - Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at an IPO price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).Amazon's initial business plan was unusual: the company did not expect a profit for four to five years. Its "slow" growth provoked stockholder complaints that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. When the dot-com bubble burst, and many e-companies went out of business, Amazon persevered, and finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million or 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion, but the modest profit was important in demonstrating the business model could be profitable. In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos Person of the Year, recognizing the company's success in popularizing online shopping.Acquisitions1998: Internet Movie Database (IMDb).; Cambridge, Massachusetts-based PlanetAll, a reminder service; Sunnyvale-based Junglee.com, an XML-based data mining startup1999: Alexa Internet, Accept.com, and Exchange.com2003: online music retailer CD Now.2004: Joyo.com, a Chinese e-commerce website.2005: BookSurge, a print on demand company, and Mobipocket.com, an eBook software company.; CreateSpace.com (formerly CustomFlix), a Scotts Valley, California-based distributor of on-demand DVDs. CreateSpace has since expanded to include on-demand books, CDs, and video. 2006: Shopbop, a Madison, Wisconsin-based retailer of designer clothing and accessories for women.2007: dpreview.com, a London-based digital photography review website; Brilliance Audio, the largest independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States.2008: Audible.com; Fabric.com; Box Office Mojo; AbeBooks; Shelfari (including a 40% stake in LibraryThing and whole ownership of Bookfinder.com, Gojaba.com, and FillZ); Reflexive Entertainment, a casual video game development company. 2009: Zappos, an online shoe and apparel retailer2010: Touchco., Woot ...Note strategy of growth through sales *and* acquisitions. More history and business data here: Amazon - Wiki
Last edited by trackstar on August 4th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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CrashedMint
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:33 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: trackstarI'm afraid that I hear this too much. That's the thing: When I hear people say: "Duh, I have this awesome idea. It's better like twitter!!111" my usual reaction is: "Reeaallllyyy..........? o_O"Obviously my idea is different ;-)By the way, do you think the successful social websites have something in common? What is it that Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Foursquare did different than the myriad of unsuccessful sites?
Last edited by CrashedMint on August 4th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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trackstar
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:36 pm

I'm not saying your idea is not good. What I hear too much is: "I'm afraid to tell anyone my idea because they might steal it, but I have no money to do this myself."That's a dilemma that every would-be entrepreneur has to solve. Indeed, it is the $65 million dollar question.
Last edited by trackstar on August 4th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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trackstar
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:40 pm

In addition, the exercise of writing the plan will force you to think more like the serious business people and venture capitalists do.As creative folks who like technology, we might all have ideas, every day.But which ones are viable in a very saturated market place?This is what your sample group figured out...and then they "executed" like crazy.
Last edited by trackstar on August 4th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 12:48 pm

Ideas are a dime-a-dozen and I sincerely doubt yours is unique. It's competent implementation of the idea that makes a difference.What will impress prospective investors (and keep them from stealing your idea) is if you prove that you know how to get the idea to market. That doesn't mean that you personally have to do all the work yourself -- you can hire the techies -- but it means that you know how to manage the process and the pieces. Your understanding of the success factors for social media sites is much more important and persuasive than is any idea. Showing that you know the keys to success is what would make you interesting to an investor.Your secrecy will be your downfall. From what I've seen, investors rarely steal ideas because they are looking for investments to make not starting a company themselves. Most secrecy-obsessed entrepreneurs lose because they fail to build a strong network of supporters and early adopters. In contrast, entrepreneurs that tell anyone and everyone about their idea do a much better job making valuable connections to investors, suppliers, partners, customers, etc. The more you talk, the more you learn and connect and grow.
 
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ppauper
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Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 1:08 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CrashedMintBy the way, do you think the successful social websites have something in common? What is it that Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and Foursquare did different than the myriad of unsuccessful sites?I always get a kick out of Facebook being successful.When I was in school (and probably the same for everyone else) the student-run coop store used to put out a "pigbook" every year with pictures/bios of the freshmen, so that if you spotted someone you liked, you could look go through the pigbook and find them.All the Facebook guys did was put that online.
 
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farmer
Posts: 13462
Joined: December 16th, 2002, 7:09 am

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 2:09 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CrashedMintSo what do I do to make it happen? I have no money (I spend all my disposable income on me and my girlfriend's lifestyle and we can't really cut back), and I have no clue how web apps are developed. I'm not that bad at C++ though and I think I can recognize when a website looks good, and when not.It depends whether you need to run a Flash server for live audio and video chat. If you need a Flash server, then you will need a virtual dedicated server at godaddy which is somewhere from $10 to $40 a month, I don't know. Otherwise you can get a mysql/php hosting account at godaddy for $2 to $10 a month, again I am too lazy to go look.Make a rough drawing of your idea. Then go to a freelancer site and get a designer to make it into a sweet jpeg for $40. Then find a programmer in Romania to slice the jpeg into html for $40, or $90 with a lot of javascript. Then pay a PHP programmer $100 to attach the front end to a database. If you need Flash, go through the same steps - concept, jpeg, flash programmer. Then if you need a flash server for chat, pay someone $125 to install Red5 on your VDS and connect it.Then you can look at the code and understand it yourself in about five minutes.If it is a membership/profile site, begin with a premade script.
Last edited by farmer on August 4th, 2010, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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farmer
Posts: 13462
Joined: December 16th, 2002, 7:09 am

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 2:18 pm

Then you need to drive traffic. I can provide you with a nuclear-war traffic explosion for $40,000. There used to be a site that would interface with Windows live chat, and tell you which of your friends really weren't online, who who had deleted you as a friend. It got shut down. I can provide you this same functionality for $40,000.Absolutely millions of people around the world will come there to see who deleted them. They enter their hotmail user name and password, and you run the check and provide them the results,. They also agree to let you spam every one of their contacts - through chat with their name - to come try the same thing. You will get millions of hits a day, to do whatever you want with.The site that got shut down, my friend spent $2500 a day on banner ads, which generated hot leads. And he was only one of a crowd of people buying banner ads on that site.
 
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CrashedMint
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Posts: 2591
Joined: January 25th, 2008, 9:12 pm

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 2:39 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: farmerQuoteOriginally posted by: CrashedMintSo what do I do to make it happen? I have no money (I spend all my disposable income on me and my girlfriend's lifestyle and we can't really cut back), and I have no clue how web apps are developed. I'm not that bad at C++ though and I think I can recognize when a website looks good, and when not.It depends whether you need to run a Flash server for live audio and video chat. If you need a Flash server, then you will need a virtual dedicated server at godaddy which is somewhere from $10 to $40 a month, I don't know. Otherwise you can get a mysql/php hosting account at godaddy for $2 to $10 a month, again I am too lazy to go look.Make a rough drawing of your idea. Then go to a freelancer site and get a designer to make it into a sweet jpeg for $40. Then find a programmer in Romania to slice the jpeg into html for $40, or $90 with a lot of javascript. Then pay a PHP programmer $100 to attach the front end to a database. If you need Flash, go through the same steps - concept, jpeg, flash programmer. Then if you need a flash server for chat, pay someone $125 to install Red5 on your VDS and connect it.Then you can look at the code and understand it yourself in about five minutes.If it is a membership/profile site, begin with a premade script.To slice the work into lots of different pieces seems smart.My idea could be roughly described as a commenting/rating website. So it would be closer to Twitter or Digg, and different from traffic-heavy sites like Youtube.From a tech side I need three things:1. User profiles including some way to follow/see what your friends are doing on the service.2. A large database with all the things all users did on the service, which needs to be searchable, e.g. users need to be able to quickly see what's happening on the service regarding "montana fishburne" or what other users from "tokyo" are doing at the moment.3. the whole thing needs to be live. if user A does something, this needs to instantaneously update everywhere. software ideas? for example profiles functionality should be out there as open source software.
 
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farmer
Posts: 13462
Joined: December 16th, 2002, 7:09 am

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 2:45 pm

Just search "social network script" then stick it on a $2 hosting account at godaddy. Any new script I imagine has the what are you doing right now / mood functionality. You can probably hack that to do what you want in one evening.
 
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Paul
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Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

I have an awesome web 2.0 idea

August 5th, 2010, 3:10 pm

T4A and trackstar are right about ideas and secrecy. I wrote about this in a blog a few years ago. Essentially, as T4A says, ideas are the easy bit, and the chances of anything being stolen are much less than you'd think. But unless you do open up it's going to probably be a harder slog than you imagine. I've never had any idea stolen before I've implemented it myself, and I tell everyone everything. (Having things copied after they've been successful, that's another story!)P
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