1. Have a revenue model, right now. We do indeed. We create free business-related content for you to use, and we expect to profit via advertising revenue. This is similar to what a magazine might do, except that most magazines aren't free.
2. Be a complete business, not just a feature. We're always looking for ways to grow and improve, but we do feel confident that our business is complete as it is. We've got a solid structure, a great team, and we don't depend on any other single company in order to exist. We aren't just feeding someone else's beast.
3. Affect real people, not just bloggers. A look at our network traffic statistics shows that we are affecting many people each day as they come to read and talk about or articles. We have developed friendships with many excellent bloggers, but we know that our ultimate goal is to help everyone - regardless of whether they are an influential blogger or a blogging teetotaler - to learn more about the world of business.
4. Get a real, memorable name. I think our Tim Stay did a great job explaining the name "Know More Media." I like it. Yes, sometimes I have to spell it out for people - "k-n-o-w" instead of "n-o" - but that wordplay is intentional and provides a conversation starter.
5. If applicable, get unaffiliated with Web 2.0. We try not call ourselves a Web 2.0 company or a blog network when talking to people for whom those terms would typically mean little. Instead, we like to tell such people that we're an Internet publishing company, or that we host conversations about business news and advice. After all, buzzwords come and go, but people and connections remain.
6. Find some friends who don't drink the kool-aid and get their honest feedback. While we've done this often in our seven months since launching, we could always use more constructive criticism. That's why we enable comments at each post and continually encourage our visitors to contact us. If you don't like something about KMM, we want to know about it.
7. If you are revolutionary, make sure that a revolution is coming. In our case, I think the revolution is in full swing and we're glad we started up last year instead of last week.
8. If you are evolutionary, then there needs to be a big enough market to address with a "we're a little better than them" vision. Here's the fun question: Who's the "us and who's the "them" in our case? Rather than focus on who we are not, we focus on who we are and what we can offer. We believe that there are millions of business-minded people who can benefit from reading our articles and learning from each other at our sites. And of course we do what we can, provided it's honest, to persuade people to come and learn and share at our network.
9. Fit your business into an existing food chain. Like thousands of companies over dozens of generations, we hope to profit from advertisers while offering a beneficial service to our visitors. The fit is easy to figure out. The challenge is simply to work hard and do it.
10. Do not expect to be Google and, just as importantly, do not expect them to buy you. No matter what happens to us over the long haul, our goal is simply to be the best company we can be, no matter what. That's all we can control.
11. Ignore the hype and have fun. That's what the PEZ is all about. Ask any of our authors, and they'll tell you we're anything but dead serious.
Speaking of dead, I think we're pretty alive when it comes to Dead 2.0's criteria for Web 2.0 success. Any suggestions you, dear reader, may have, are most welcome.