Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Become profitable from day one is Good!

“Advertising won’t get you there, services will possibly better to monetize”

This is the insight I got from Sarah Lacy – Techcrunch editor at large while she presents at SparxUp  seminar. My schedule this week is filled up with all about startup world, from Techcrunch visit to IDS|international design school (@idseducation) on Tuesday, sharing a startup insight with Startup Lokal (@startuplokal) on Thursday to SparxUp award seminar and award on Friday and Saturday.

Learning from SparxUp and Startup Lokal

SparxUp (@sparxup) is an award initiated by Semutapi to identify the most promising startup in Indonesia. Meanwhile Startup Lokal (@startuplokal) is a regular meetup event initiated by startup community as a support group. SparxUp comes with the whiz bang celebration by having seminar inviting Yahoo, Google, Techcrunch and startup pitch at fX atrium. Meanwhile Startup Lokal is a close discussion between startup and future technopreneurs.

I was invited as one of the judge at SparxUp. Being a bad judge, I was late to do the judging process, rarely attending the brief and miss the final awarding event. Still, I am able to attend the seminar and the public pitch by these startups.

Surprisingly, quite numbers of Indonesian startup rise to the surface. In the final, the selected few are done not by first timer, they have previously done other ventures or products. Even among the one that didn’t make it, I see a good potential, either product, technology or simply future creator or entrepreneur that are able to create value.

The winner is the one with a simple business model. As a startup, this surely win the judges vote, but in a real world, it needs a business acumen to bring the business model to become sustainable and scalable. So the real test comes not to win the award, but to be able to stand the test of time.

Then, what’s next? If it’s me, I will think really hard to find a profitable business model. A profitable business model is not necessary sustainable and scalable. Then it’s perfectly ok to have more than one business model. Test the market, make mistake, that’s what startup does. To give you a sample, Google monetization comes from advertising revenue (Adsense, Adwords), software as services (GoogleApps), ecommerce (Google Checkout). They also sells white label email services to telco provider and ISP. And they also provides search engine for corporate services.

So, become profitable from day one is good! And making money besides advertising is even better!

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