Of late, I have taken a keen interest in finding key strategies of really successful Internet businesses. (Okie not just Internet businesses, but the ones who really made big-time money in real quick time.) And boy, have I come with some interesting finding or two?
** Okie, let me start off with that wonder of a company, Google. Back in 1996, it all started as a university project called BackRub (aww, that name itself sounds corny, but then remember what the Bard said??). In fact, when Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the company in September 1997, they were operating out of a friend's garage in Menlo Park, Calif. Of course, they moved out after an year and a half and after a couple of offices, relocated to the present Mountain View headquarters. Okie, now why am I going on and on about surely, some inconsequential detail about Google's history? Well, read on and ye shall know.
Anyway, the Google that we know now is a tech giant with oodles and doodles of revenues and yeah, a couple of dozen products. In less than a decade, Google is now locking horns with that monstrosity called Microsoft. And this year, Sergey Brin and Larry Page featured at #12 and #13 respectively in Forbes' list of the richest persons in the United States. Hmmm...
** In early October this year, Google purchased YouTube for a whopping $1.65 billion in stock. $1.65 billion. That's some serious money, one would say, for a small firm that debuted just under an year back. So, how did YouTube become such a biggie?
Well, YouTube started off as a small company operating from a garage (yeah, again !) in February of last year. It officially debuted in November last, and within a year has grown to insane proportions playing, on an average, over a 100 million video clips daily. Whoa ! That's more viewership than most of the cable channels around.
** Google acquired another company this October, though it wasn't in such a big league as YouTube. JotSpot was founded by Excite founder, Joe Krauss in late 2004 in a small Silicon Valley garage. (Oh yeah, now you are getting the drift...) It is probably the first application wiki company around. In other words, a company that facilitates you to create, publish and share your own wiki applications.
So, what do you need to do if you have a brainwave for a startup? Ah, by now, that's a no-brainer. You gotta get up and hire the first available garage in Silicon Valley. That seems a pretty sureshot way of raking in the moolah, especially with that giant Google constantly on the lookout for other garage startups.
Now, don't you believe me? Well, I have another idea for all ye budding entrepeneurs. This is more realistic and almost guarantees you the need to have plenty of bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. And this is again based on hard facts and sound reasoning. Here we go again -
** Hewlett-Packard paid $1.7 million for a 12-by-18-foot garage that co-founder William Hewlett first rented for $45 per month.
** This October, Google paid a somewhat similar amount to buy the 1,900-square-foot home in Menlo Park, where it initially started off by paying a rent of $1700 per month.
Hmmm...I think it's time to rent my garage...or better still, does anyone know from whom I can buy the garage where YouTube started off? Or any other biggie firm for that matter?