Web 2.0 and the new minipreneurial culture

Darren Sharp reports:
Two great articles from today’s New York Times which look at how Web 2.0 is transforming business processes and entrepreneurial culture.

The first “Web Services Upend Ideas About the Little Guy’s Role” explores what might be called the “Long Tail” of the small-business market through the democratisation of information technology. According to the report US-based companies with fewer than 500 employees comprise half the nation’s economic output and 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs. The fragmented nature of the small-firm sector meant they were generally off the radar for enterprise solutions players whose attention tended to focus on winning over the Fortune 500 market. The article discusses how Google search, Salesforce and IBM now cater to increasing numbers of small-businesses that are taking advantage of the reduced cost of marketing, distribution, sales and service offered by new web-based technologies. A range of new startups like JotSpot are developing innovative solutions that cater to the needs of this burgeoning market.

Read: Web Services Upend Ideas About the Little Guy’s Role

The second article “Running a Hatchery for Replicant Hackers” profiles Y Combinator, an interesting new incubator that provides seed-money for hackers to start web-based business. The company hopes to leverage the optimisim surrounding the success of sites like Flickr and Delicious by giving tech-heads $6,000 in seed money and access to their network of business contacts in the hope of unearthing the next big thing. The company’s founder Paul Graham and his business partners maintain a stake in each company they invest in. As the article points out Y Combinator reflects a number of trends that are changing the VC landscape; “open-source software and falling hardware prices means that tech startups are cheap to finance; that large companies are no longer at the forefront of innovationand that mature technology companies find it cheaper to buy than to build” . One of the startups profiled includes TextPayMe, a mobile text-message based micro-payments system inspired by similar online services like PayPal.

Read: Running a Hatchery for Replicant Hackers
For reference see this list of resources for Minipreneurs and Desktop Manufacturing

1 Comment Web 2.0 and the new minipreneurial culture

  1. AvatarChris Smith

    Business 2.0 … covered by CNN (March 2006)

    “In the pages that follow, we identify 25 companies, in five Next Net categories, whose approaches help illuminate where the Web is headed and where the opportunities lie. Most are startups, a lot of them with less than 10 full-time employees. Few are currently making money, and it’s a given that many will fail. But it’s equally likely that somewhere within this group lurks the next Google or Microsoft or Yahoo — or at least something that those giants will soon pay a pretty penny to have.”

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