Anyone who’s seen “The Social Network” knows that, by the middle of the last decade, the leaders in tech were skewing younger and making money faster. In one notable instance at Stanford, the secret of success was this: cut corners!
That is, cut corners that you can fix while making simple apps people can really get behind. That was the surprise discovery students—as well as educators and businesspeople—made in the Facebook Class back in 2007. The class, a sort of microcosm of Silicon Valley, was developed by Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford, as a way of exploring technology and psychology. The end result was many of his students making more money than they knew what to do with:
…by teaching students to build no-frills apps, distribute them quickly and worry about perfecting them later, the Facebook Class stumbled upon what has become standard operating procedure for a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley and beyond. For many, the long trek from idea to product to company has turned into a sprint.
Start-ups once required a lot of money, time and people. But over the past decade, free, open-source software and “cloud” services have brought costs down, while ad networks help bring in revenue quickly.
Of course, following this method isn’t so easy anymore. After all, 2007 was a long time ago and the business landscape has changed considerably to reveal a few new giants (ie. Zynga). It’s just amazing to see you could spend 5 hours on an app back then and suddenly start making $US5,000 a day. [NYT]