Friday, February 23, 2007

Startups finish first

posted by Seun Olubodun
I’m a Yahoo! fan -- have been since its early days as a leader in online innovation. In the Internet's youth, Yahoo! embodied what it meant to be an Internet success, similar to YouTube's status for the Web 2.0 era.

Today is a different story
. Smaller startup companies are succeeding, while Yahoo! sits at a standstill.

Why the switch? As Internet companies like Yahoo! grow, they shift their business focus -- a necessary evolution. Yet they also shed the startup spirit that made them successful in the first place.

No wonder, then, that today's entrepreneurs can take on established companies. Their ample supply of startup spirit drives innovative thinking. Their lean teams -- five employees or less -- keep them nimble and creative, which leads to newer, cutting-edge products much faster than at companies with 10,000 people ... like Yahoo!.

Google is a rare exception for large companies. They have sustained the startup environment throughout rapid growth. Also, they're well-known for hiring the very best people, and giving them a comfortable place to brainstorm day and night -- an approach that keeps them ahead of the pack.

With such high consumer expectations in this Web 2.0 era, company size no longer matters. Rather, a company must recruit forward-thinking, creative people, and focus on building innovative products.

If a company can make life easier, cheaper, smarter, or better, they will change the way people function. That's what will set them apart, and put them ahead.

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