A thought on business development

| January 17, 2011

I just watched The Social Network. I enjoyed the film thoroughly, and unsurprisingly, it got me thinking about successful businesses.

There are three elements you need to build a business: 1) Connect: connect to the market or in other words, find customers; 2) Laziness principle: make it easy for the customer to use your solutions, and ensure they are easier to use than existing solutions; and 3) Persevere: no business is created without perseverance.

In the context of social networks, what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg did was spot on with these principles. He went to organisations that already owned customers. To the Harvard fraternity, which already had a system in place to look after their members. It was just that what Zuckerberg came up with was easier to use and more content-rich. Then he went to Stanford and to Oxford, to organisations that already had a customer base they were already connected to.

Zuckerberg’s actions followed the 3 principles. He ticked all the boxes.

Here’s a thought

Where do scaleable ideas come from?

A rich area for finding new ideas for business is where a paradigm shift has occurred. You look for and build on new foundations, where there has been a paradigm shift.

We should be looking for ideas where there is a paradigm shift. That is the source of ideas – where there is a disconnect. We look for ideas in areas where there is a technology advance, or there is new thinking which is a disruptive technology.

It has to be the right time and right place. The paradigm shift means there is technological and social readiness.

Once we have a scaleable idea, that’s when the 3 principles of building on the opportunity come in.

It certainly worked for Zuckerberg.