Tuesday, October 26, 2004

post bubble entrepreneurship

via emergic, business week has a special report on young tech entrepreneurs:

Championing a Wiki World:
Socialtext co-founder and CEO Ross Mayfield makes no apologies for the threadbare setup. Increasingly inexpensive and ubiquitous information technologies such as the Internet, wireless connections, and cheap computer servers, he says, allow him to run the company with far less money and fewer people than he could have a decade ago -- without scrimping on features or quality. Says the 34-year-old serial entrepreneur: "This is the prototype of the new Internet startup."
Befitting the leaner times, Socialtext has subsisted on less than $300,000 from friends and other social-software entrepreneurs such as LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman and Tribe Networks CEO Mark Pincus. Last month, it got another $300,000 from the Omidyar Network, the semi-philanthropic organization launched by eBay (EBAY ) founder and Chairman Pierre Omidyar and several other individuals. That's in stark contrast to the boom, when multimillion-dollar initial rounds were all but mandatory.

How has Mayfield survived on the cheap? Partly by using his company's own wiki software to get things done. Mayfield does his work on Socialtext's internal wiki wherever his laptop is, from his home office to the nearby café that has free wireless Internet service. So do colleagues in places such as Silicon Valley, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Canada, and Taiwan.

They also use free Internet-based teleconferencing and long-distance calling services. "The infrastructure costs are a tenth of what they used to be," says Mayfield. "We can do more work with lower cost because of teleconferencing and the Internet."

They also use the Net to do all their marketing, essentially for free. For one, Mayfield and several other founders write well-read blogs on social software and related topics...

btw, if you are interested in wikis, and haven't seen the jotspot demo udell put up, you should check it out. also, weblogsinc has an mp3 of the jotspot session at web2.0.


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