Think Out of Big Box Central

Yesterday I was discussing iphone applications with a friend who just started developing them.  We then moved the conversation to the web and business in general.  When I suggested certain ideas, at first them were shot down because “people don’t need that” or “they already exist”.  I then explained that contrary to what the people of the United States of America think, they are not the “world”.

The world is a very big place.  It is getting smaller each day through new technologies but that doesn’t mean that one size will fit all and that anything that exists in the US will work for people living in smaller countries across the world.  For example, Craigslist is extremely popular in the US and it is the first place that many people go to post or look for things they need but if you just move a little north or the border, you will find that it is not as popular and a site called kijiji.com for the same service.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about a new web based application or business:

One Size Does Not Fit All

Just because a web service is available everywhere, it doesn’t mean that it is used everywhere.  Because of cultural differences, languages, marketing and word of mouth in the other countries, the service may not catch on in the other countries.

You Can Be the Next Facebook

You may never be as big as facebook or as popular or even ever come close to having 100 million users but you can take the idea and recreate it for a country that hasn’t caught on yet and market the site specifically to them.  Today, you don’t need a new idea, you just need a new place to use an old idea.

You Now Have a Global Market

Your customers are no longer just the 5000 people in your town; they are the billion plus internet users around the world.  If you sell a service online for $50/month to 2000 of them, you will make over $1 million each year.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list?

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