Top 5 Web 2.0 startup pitfalls

1) A site that totally dependent on user data to succeed – Most sites die because they get no user adoption. However, user adoption is dependent on other users being present and creating enough content for it to be useful for new users to join. It’s kind of a Catch-22 that you need users to get other users but the initial users have no reason to contribute. A good way would be to start off with something and then allow users to build on it. Spock is doing well on this model.

2) Mashups – Mashups are very popular with Web 2.0, however a lot of them may not be useful at all. They also severely limit the number of users to the people that use the services that were mashed up.

3) Unnecessary “tags” and Web 2.0 look – Some sites create unnecessary Web 2.0 like functionality because everyone else is doing it even if it does not benefit users. Also, the look and feel of the site is very Web 2.0 like and does not work for their visitor segment.

4) The same idea with a “twist” – This is the pitfall where people create just another video site or just another photo site with a “twist”. That twist is sometimes to insignificant for users to shift to this new site.

5) Solving problems for too small of a constituency – A lot of applications get great buzz from the geek community but that community is very small and the application is sometimes not designed well for non-techies to understand and use it.

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