Websnacker’s Top 10 Rules for Launching the Perfect Online Venture
With the stupendous success of Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other online success stories that you keep reading these days; sure, big ideas seem great but how about some practical tips for successfully building and launching a digital venture? Here are top ten rules derived from my and my team’s collective experience at my creative firm.
Rule 1 - Always Work as a Team: Assemble an integrated project team of business, creative and technology minds to develop the corporate vision and work requirements then see them through to actual implementation. True innovation comes from active, multidisciplinary collaboration so focus on it.
Rule 2 - Anticipate Change: From the outset, the entire team should be ready, know and accept that requirements will naturally change and evolve. Flexibility should be the core team value. Challenge your team to imagine the unexpected a few steps into the future and how they would handle it.
Rule 3 - Communicate Openly: Issues always arise on projects, particularly with new technologies and high visibility. Openly raise the issues, present alternatives and work as a team toward resolution.
Rule 4 - Don't Reinvent the Wheel: Leverage existing products and tools where appropriate but keep the product mix to a manageable minimum. Don't try to deliver all functionality at once.
Rule 5 - Phase the Process: Imagine it (informed brainstorming), define it (prioritization, scoping and design), and do it (implementation). Phase deliverables, test them with the audience, then iterate and refine. For each phase and deliverable, know what you're going to do, when you're going to do it and what it's going to cost.
Rule 6 - Reward Your Team: It all comes down to human beings working together. You won't hesitate to tell your team when something's wrong, so don't forget to reward them when something's right. One of the best rewards is simple and low cost: genuine recognition. Stand up and recognize them among their peers or to a broader audience and they’ll love it.
Rule 7 - Get to Market: Beat the competition. Offer incremental features and functionality over time. The sooner you can deliver, the more time you will have to build brand loyalty. Deliver "good enough" now and continually improve upon it. Think IPod or the IPhone.
Rule 8 - Market and Promote: Whether you're launching a consumer web site or an online web store, you need to let people know how and where to find you, and why they should bother. Branding, marketing, social media and viral promotion are key. Plan for this from the start.
Rule 9 - Measure Results & Improve: Technology permits you to capture incredibly valuable information about who is doing what on your site. Continually analyze and use it to inform your next steps: marketing strategy and tactics, interface and content improvements, functional enhancements or architectural changes. Keep improving.
Rule 10 - Select the Right Partner: Select a creative/marketing partner who can help you solve the whole problem and sell it to your audience. Incorrect branding, marketing, advertising and public relations can all impede innovation and time-to-market but with the right partner, you can get it right. (Hint – try us)
This ain't the magic formula but it sure will take you on the right road to success! All the best.