If you are asking yourself how can I start up an online empire, I must warn you that empires come and empires go. When I think of empires I have associations of conquest, captivity, coerce power – something very associated with ego. Building every business is yes, hungry for money, but in my eyes should be also conscious, hence focused on the real solutions that help to solve problems of people. But I know what you mean – you want to build something of a legacy that will go beyond yourself.
This is the British empire in 1920. Look what they had once owned and had they been more smart about their policy of representation to 13 former colonist states of North America, they could have sustained much longer. Well, maybe not who knows? But back to the online world.
How can I start up an online empire
It all started in 1994 when Jeff Bezos decided to leave his well – paid, job secured post of VP in prestigious Wall Street firm and decided to revolutionize e – commerce. Bezos chose a name Amazon as he thought it sounded exotic and different just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. He had a vision to build an Amazon of bookstore. By that he meant to create something that would surely surpass the size of any physical bookstore there is. Physical spaces just cannot be competitive to the size of their online counterparts, however you will never be able to build something with such a genius loci as this: List of most beautiful bookshops
Jeff Bezos naturallly liked books, but it was also the result of his meticulous analytical work. Bezos created a list of 20 products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print. The rest is history and surely the epic growth of Amazon to the one the largest company in the world is due to many good decisions and innovations – especially the worshipful focus on customer, so much preached by its founder.
The Start Up
I would like to emphasize the beginnings since this is a question of how can I start up an online empire. The market prediction at that time was that it will grow rapidly (e – commerce was predicted to grow by 2,300% annually by that time). There was a potential for disrupting innovation since no physical bookstore could have matched the vast shopping list of online bookstore – the largest physical bookstore could have had up to 200,000 items, Amazon several times higher this number.
There was a slight orientation on one product at that time, which is a marvelous work of analytical mind of Jeff Bezos – software engineer by education. This is the famous strategy proposed by co-founder of paypal – Peter Thiel in his best – seller from zero to one. In his theory he says that entrepreneurs should focus on dominating, actually explicitly creating a monopoly in one segment (one product) before going with different products. This is the very important aspect of any business, not just online. Focus on specific deliverable that seems to be performing well – just two months of Amazon in the business, it was making around 20 000$ / week. They haven’t intervened much with other products till they were not pretty much dominating their market. Of course nowadays you can buy everything on Amazon.com, they now dominate the e – commerce as an industry, not just an online bookstore niche.
Is Amazon an online empire
Yes, it is an online empire, but there are other companies as well. Amazon is currently making #1 in the list of biggest internet companies. But what about Google, Uber, and to westerners not well known Chinese internet firms, which are totally rocking it and will be known in the future – Tencent, Baidu, JD.com and of course also better-known Alibaba.
If you look at the list there are
11 – E – commerce companies
2 – Cloud Computing
2 – Entertainment
1 – Mass customization (very interesting field especially in regards to the potential of 3D printing)
4 – search engines
4 – Socials
5 – Travel
So, this gives us a good idea, where to start an online business. However it can also something different. Evergreens online including dating niche, finance, fitness will thrive even in decades to come.
How can I start up an online empire – points to help us since we lack an exact formula
I do not think there is an exact bulletproof formula for this question. However, as we have seen there are points that should come to consideration. I will also add couple of new, that I consider inevitable for success in online world.
- There has to be a big market with a great potential – e – commerce, social, searching and etc. New industries will be created in 21st century I am sure.
- The competitive advantage should be apparent. Amazon listing advantage to physical world bookstore.
- Business systems as usual – customer focus, great leadership, internal processes that support talent along the company to dominate its market.
- Learning and flexible leadership within company – learning company. 21st century will be an ever changing environment. Those who won’t catch the wave will perish, like Nokia did.
- Value, value, value. Constantly be over-delivering on value and focus on it.
- Customization on data – big data, but not terabytes of crap, but being able to interpret data in a meaningful (read value to customer) manner. Companies who built long – term relationships will be winners. To do that they will need to deliver value in accordance to current desires and needs of customers (there are evergreens of value like low prices too though). Data driven interpretation companies have a big chance in online start – up world as well – exponea is one of the fastest growing company in the world.