Already industry pundits like Om Malik are complaining about businesses that are built to flip; that is not developing a service as a business that will be paid for by online advertising or a subscription, but instead is designed to only make one sale – the business itself when it is bought by (insert the name of a large technology company here).
Since Web 2.0 is hard to pin down this allows an assortment of modern-day carpetbaggers and snake oil salemen to try and pry money out of large companies that need to be seen to be dynamic or venture capital companies that are not very good at kicking the tyres.
As a PR consultant its your job to avoid these people as they will sully your relationships with the media and will not think twice about leaving you with unpaid bills.
How do you avoid these people?
- Use your common sense
- Avoid companies that are built to flip
- If a companies business model makes no sense to you, its because its nonsense
- Are there too many expensive professional business people on board?
- Google the people you meet, read their blogs, have a look on flickr. Do your research – have they written or presented papers? What’s their pedigree?
- Avoid people that tell you upfront they’re in talks with (insert large tech firm), big companies talk to lots of people all the time. It doesn’t mean that they’re serious 90 per cent of the time
- Try the product, would you use it at home? Would you recommend it to friends? Would your partner (or bit on the side) use it? – If not, then how can you promote it and expect other people to buy into it?