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The Heart Of Internet Entrepreneurship

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2007-03-28 09:27:44     
Article by Leow John

Internet entrepreneurship is a generic term used to describe an entrepreneur who carries out his business activities online. Often at the first mention of internet entrepreneurship, the first image that conjures up in many minds is online stores like eBay.com or Amazon. As such, this article will discuss the aspects of being an internet entrepreneur with illustrations from a brief case study of Eric Smith, CEO of UnWired Buyer Services.

There has been tremendous proliferation of 'get-rich quick' internet schemes, and more often than not, these packages are designed to lure opportunists with the 'get-rich' mentality into forking out their pockets in hope of becoming the next 'big thing' on the Net. Contrary to this, being a successful internet entrepreneur doesn't just happen overnight. Yaro Starak, a successful Australian entrepreneur, has this to say about 'get- rich' schemes:

"Here's what you need to do. Stop buying products, look at what you have already, what you have learnt and where you think you could best leverage your skills."

As is the same with brick-and -mortar entrepreneurship, internet entrepreneurship requires one to transform an idea into action. More often than not, it is a long process of perseverance and preparation, and the common reason for failed entrepreneurship ventures is more often due to laziness. Also, the lessons learnt in brick-and-mortar entrepreneurship must be applied to internet entrepreneurship, as elements like a strong idea for a product or service, solid understanding of the product or service, the customer, marketing principles and elements of financing ( CELCEE, 2003) must be factored in carefully. Furthermore, net-prenuers have to understand the dynamics of web technology in bringing their stores to the homes of their customers. These are considerations that a net-prenuer has to account for.

Above all factors, the defining characteristic of a true net-prenuer is one who has faced rejection, and has managed to overcome its hurdle. This was the case with Eric Smith, creator of eBay's UnWired Buyer service, which alerts eBay buyers when their auction is ending and allows them to make last-minute bids by phone, using a phone firewall technology. The rationale behind UnWired is this: Buyers bid more often and bid higher when they use UnWired Buyer's services, and the higher an auction goes, the bigger the payoff for eBay. eBay then pays UnWired an undisclosed percentage of revenue it gets when an Unwired Buyer user wins their auction. What most don't know is that before the success of UnWired, Eric suffered a failed business opportunity in an earlier net venture utilizing phone firewall technology for online daters and users of social networking sites, who wanted to connect with potential matches without revealing their real numbers. Within a month of introduction, users found the service too expensive, as Eric had no way to lower the cost of that technology.

However, against all odds, Eric saw another opportunity, when his wife was telling him how she had been outbid again on eBay one day, as eBay did not have such a free phone bidding service back then. As the story goes, Eric proceeded to sell eBay his technological idea, and the rest of UnWired is history.

In summary, the story goes to show that internet entrepreneurship transcends more than a great idea, but solid character and action also plays a pivotal role in success. The ability to overcome a setback and not to be overcomed, is a net-prenuer's greatest asset. To borrow a quote from Janelle Elms, " make sure you're using the "triangle of success"". That triangle comprises of 3 factors: "Character, Conscientiousness, and Consistency". This is the heart of a successful net-preneur.

Specialized in: Internet Entrepreneurship - Heart
URL: http://leojohn-internetbiz.blogspot.com
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