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        Another AHBBO Article
        Running Your Own Race

        © 2011 Elena Fawkner

        There was an article on the front page of the Los Angeles Times
        Friday that caught my eye.  The headline was "Small Dot-
        Coms Thrive While Industry Giants Melt Down".  Here are the
        opening paragraphs ...

        "Beneath the chaotic dot-com busts of the last half-year, an
        overlooked breed of Internet companies - mostly small and
        nimble - is thriving.

        "They have no public stock, no Super Bowl commercials,
        no million-dollar product launch parties, and no naming
        contracts with professional sports stadiums.  Their small
        size has allowed many to weather a storm that has quickly
        taken down hugely stupid, profligate and unlucky internet

        "This year's grim portrait of the Internet economy has largely
        been painted by big-money Wall Street nose dives such as
        those by Priceline.com, Drkoop.com and Etoys.

        "By contrast, the mundane dot-com survivors are small
        operations with few employees that have trudged along, slowly
        but steadily, in a parallel universe that more closely resembles
        the so-called Old Economy."

        Well, gee, no kidding.  Finally the dust begins to settle and
        the resulting landscape resembles, well, something suspiciously
        like the real world.  And WE, the "mundane dot-com survivors"
        are the ones trudging along in a parallel universe?  I think not. 
        We've always been firmly rooted in the real world.  It's the "hugely
        stupid, profligate and unlucky [and what's "luck" got to do with
        it?] internet firms" that were always living in a parallel universe of
        their own imaginations.

        So what's the lesson of the great internet shakeout of 2013?
        It's this: just run your own race.  Forget about what the so-
        called mega dot-coms are doing.  They're not operating in the
        real world, they're in some la la land where venture capital is
        a (for now) bottomless pit and the bottom line doesn't seem to
        matter.  Yet.  What's the future for such businesses?  They're
        destined to bite the dust!  I don't care how much money they
        have at their disposal, sooner or later they have to pay the piper. 
        There is NO successful business model on earth that doesn't, at
        some point, require black ink on the all-important bottom line.

        So, don't stress out over what your mega-competition is doing.
        Look to your niche and focus on that.  Ever tried emailing one
        of those mega sites?  I have.  You get auto-generated
        responses.  No such thing as personal service.  And how could
        there be?  They're in a parallel universe, after all, where such
        things as basic customer service are delivered by autoresponders,
        not real humans.

        For you and me, the "mundane dot-com survivors", the trick
        is to focus on *business* and not get caught up in the hype and
        swirl of The Internet.  We understand that the internet is but a
        tool at our disposal, not some mystical plane where you can
        afford to throw out antiquated "old economy" principles such as
        the fact that revenues must exceed expenses in order to make
        a profit.

        The LA Times article profiled a small dot-commer who is
        thriving despite the so called "melt-down".  A sole-employee
        business, this entrepreneur "turned her idea for a coupon-clipping
        Web site into a profitable business by keeping expenses low". 
        Fancy that.  Keeping expenses low.  What an epiphany.  The
        business took a year and a half to turn a profit with expenses of
        around $800 a month.  It has remained in profit ever since,
        generating a salary of between $75,000 and $125,000 a year for
        its owner.

        Even more startling is the fact that "the vast majority of Internet
        companies have never seen a drop of venture capital or had a
        public stock offering.  Of the about 10,000 dot-coms in the United
        States, fewer than 500 have publicly traded stock.  Only a
        quarter have received venture-capital money, depending instead
        on money from more patient private investors, their own
        checkbooks and credit cards or - remarkably - company revenues."

        Fancy that.


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        Elena Fawkner is editor of Home-Based Business Online. Best business ideas and opportunities for your home-based or online business.

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