Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Platform Launch Formula

As many of you already know, I love to build new businesses. More than running them, I like to build new businesses and bring them to a profitable state. I’ve been accused more than once of having business ADD when it comes to my site launches, as I often end up launching one site nearly as quick as I do a second, third, and forth site.

I know that my methods do not follow the normal “product launch formula” that is so in vogue right now. I frankly could care less about this formula, as I think it is totally irrelevant for most people trying to launch a business online.

Rather than a product launch formula comprising of joint ventures and building buzz, I think it is important to build a platform first, and then deliver a product to the platform over and over again.

Take for example, Google. When Google went public and the stock price soared, they didn’t put all their eggs in one basket, they hired bright people to innovate on as many corners of the internet as possibly. They then handed over each innovation to an active audience that was already using Google’s search products to devour.

While running a small business might seem totally foreign to how a mega company like Google acts, the concept, or better yet, principle remains the same. Build the platform, and then deliver innovative products and services to the platform that is already waiting for it.

I’ve had success with articles, which lead to e-books, which lead to press releases, which led to testimonials, which led to newsletter writing, and the list could go on and on. These niche businesses aren’t very different in theme, and could probably all be bundled in one site, or even one package. But regardless of their similarity it remains a fact that each business was built to satisfy the needs of existing customers, as in, my platform.

Coming up in the near future will be a half dozen new sites offering my existing platform services they didn’t even know they needed yet. My focus has shifted from providing for an existing demand, to providing for a future demand.

When you look at your business, look at what you can do to vertically integrate your existing resources into a new platform. I see the best and brightest in business do this daily, from Neiman Marcus launching their new chain of boutique retail stores Cusp, to a local newspaper that launches a monthly spiritual magazine to tap the wide base of religious readers on the market today.

Whatever the case might be, delivering a helpful product or service to an established platform is far better than the so called product launch formula.

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