Sunday, May 20, 2007

Truemors and Kuy Kawasaki

I'm a big fan of Guy Kawaski: He's an amazing speaker, seasoned digital evangelist, interesting blogger and serial entrepreneur.

He just launched his newest venture:
Truemors focuses on something that's important to many people: rumors. I've looked at the site and I don't think I will return. It just doesn't do anything for me and doesn't interest me enough to come back. But that doesn't mean his newest venture won't be successful.
What's more interesting is an article in the WSJ in which Lee Gomes profiles Guy, talks about the low-cost start-up costs for this venture, and shows Guy as a candid and authentic person. The title of the column is killer: In New Net Economy, Everyone Gets to be Stupid for 15 Minutes.

An excerpt:

"Apparently, Web businesses now aren’t much harder to make than YouTube videos. Mr. Kawasaki says he has been working on Truemors for just three months. Because it uses free software, with programming done by a for-hire outfit in called Electric Pulp located in the high tech mecca of South Dakota, the costs are minimal. Mr. Kawasaki says to date, he has spent $12,000 on Truemors.

Or, as he puts it, “During the dot-com bubble, you needed $5 million to do stupid ideas. Now you can do stupid ideas for 12 grand.”

With so little at stake, Mr. Kawasaki can afford to adopt a tone of almost cheerful agnosticism when fielding questions. Will Truemors have any redeeming social purpose? “The real answer is, ‘I don’t know,’” he replies. Will the things people read on Truemors be true? “As much as anything else they read on the Internet,” he says.

Mention that he seems to not know a lot about how his business will shake out and Mr. Kawasaki lets you in on a little secret. “If you raise $2 million from VCs, you have to pretend like you ‘know’ all this stuff. The truth is whether it’s $12,000 or $2 million, you really don’t know. The only difference is what you think you can admit.”

That's why I don't believe we're in Web 2.0 bubble. Business models are being tested on an ongoing basis. The ones with great ideas that keep their costs down have a good chance of surviving. The ones that operate under the 1.0 model will not.

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