Speed Kills on the Web!

I only have to point to the 555 plus failed .com companies (according
to Web Mergers) as the poster children of the “speed at any
cost” business mantra that clearly doesn’t work. And, these
werecompanies who burnt through significant amounts of capital (in
the millions, tens of millions or hundreds of millions in many cases)
while they were rushing to get to market.

Do you wonder why every time you talk to someone he or she seem to be
in such a hurry that they don’t really have time to talk with
you? But, if you want to work with them you have to try and converse
on the phone as a first step, or even worse, setup some type of a
face-to-face meeting. What’s going on – why aren’t we all
slowing the pace down so we can focus on business processes that are
based upon viable models? Especially in these economic times where
relationships and processes are critical to ongoing success and/or

I think we are experiencing some type of a .com hangover effect.
Everyone was in such a hurry during the heady GBF (“get big
fast”) .com days trying to do the “land grab” while
“driving an “online brand” that would lead to a quick
“exit strategy” that they forgot to really define a viable business
model that included development of tangible goods and services for
real customers.

I still come into contact with many people that act like they’ve
been hard wired to a double espresso – they aren’t sure what
theyare doing, where they are going, but they want to do everything
in a hurry! It seems like many are still trying to build a business
the same way they did during the last two years, when fundamentals
and many niceties of business went out the window, while greed became
the order of the day.

We are telling our clients speed can and does kill on the web –
its time to slow down and think strategically about what they want to
do and then build marketing campaigns and processes that convey
tangible value to their market demographics (read customers!).

Here are some fundamental marketing rules for living life in the slow
(but safe) lane:

1) Ensure all marketing collateral (web and offline) are in synch
– invest sufficient time and resources to ensure there are no
discrepancies between them to build a cohesive brand that effectively
communicates what you do.

2) Take time to really evaluate business opportunities, don’t
just blast through relationships, meetings or assessments – many
times you can build viable partnerships by sitting down and taking a
hard look at how third parties complement your business and vica

3) Use the web for what’s its really meant for – as a highway
for communications and commerce, its not the “saving grace”
its been touted to be by many companies; 87% of Internet users today
utilize the web to research goods and services.

4) Make time to look at your competitors, whether they are across the
road or on the other side of the world – the web has created a
commerce model where a competitor is just a click away; so carefully
analyze what your competitors are doing.

5) Communicate with your customers and partners – it doesn’t
do much good to build a beautiful web site that does not make it easy
for people to contact your company. I’ve seen hundreds of web
sites the last year that don’t have e-mail contacts or phone numbers
listed prominently – take/make time to build a site that lets people
communicate with you.

6) Hire people with some gray hairs – they may not flash the
latest PDA at you or wear the latest trendy clothes, but many of them
have years of experience building companies slowly and carefully, by
paying attention to business fundamentals. I’ve got nothing
against youth, but it seems like many over 40-somethings got left by
the wayside in the .com mania and to the detriment of many companies.

7) Think small when your building a business, the billion dollar days
are gone with last year’s PR hyperbole. I get no royalties from
E.F. Shumacher, but I really think his “Small is Beautiful As if
People Mattered” is a wonderful book and the forward is done by
Paul Hawken, a brilliant serial entrepreneurPsychology Articles, well known for his
landmark PBS (Public Broadcasting Service for global readers) series
on “Growing a Business” that inspired many of us to take the
entrepreneurial plunge.