Growth Hacker

Internet marketing is my area of expertise. Past consulting clients include eBay, CafePress, DocuSign, myfab, and DeepDyve. Visit my consulting site at Market Extend.
blog
← Back to blog
Internet Business Portfolio – How to Build One – A Rough Blueprint
April 17, 2008 Jamie Shiller Uncategorized

After spending over a month in Kuala Lumpur, I feel I’ve distilled down some of the key ingredients needed to build a portfolio of profitable Internet businesses. This is essentially a blueprint of how to create a mini business incubator.

Here’s the recipe:

1) a few really smart people (including at least one excellent programmer)

2) develop simple ideas

  • product ideas are more likely to succeed than Web 2.0 social media/community
  • information products and software are best
  • work on a few projects
  • share learning and assets across projects

3) agile software development

  • build projects which can be built within one weekend to 3 months max – the planning stage might be longer, new products are always in the pipeline

4) understand the market

  • find a need and fill it, rather than building a product and trying to generate a need – appeal to a specific customer avatar with each product

5) use the psychology of sales

  • scarcity, social proof, commitment and consistency, etc. – all from Robert Cialdini (see attached), done properly no salesforce is needed, all sales occur through the Web

6) engineer a strong product launch

  • use the techniques outline in the product launch formula 2.0 by Jeff Walker – the root of which comes from Cialdini

7) implement business automation

  • automate customer service – for example see the snippets feature of fogbuz

Here are a few more tips:

Repurpose technologies

  • Build technologies that can be used across your businesses. For example, a custom shopping cart platform might be useful for all your businesses. Build it once and repurpose it. Often times you’ll find synergies between your existing technologies and the new products you develop.
  • Focus on niches

  • Pick a few niches and focus on developing a basket of products for each niche, this makes it easy to upsell products to existing customers. This strategy will allow you to monetize visitors better than the competition
View comments →
  • Great post Jamie. Time well spent in kuala lumpur. Its amazing how many 6-10-digit funded companies fly in the face of these principles (and fail).