Should I launch 2 web startups at once?


1

I can't decide which one of two possible web services to launch so I am beginning to think that I should hedge my bets and launch both.

Without getting into detail about each lets assume they each have an equal chance of success at becoming profitable businesses and would cost about the same to develop (every $ I've got).

I'm not a developer so money would be extremely tight for new feature development.

Am I better off pouring all of my resources into one venture and hoping it becomes successful or should I attempt to "divide and conquer" and launch both hoping one or the other (or both!) catches on?

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asked Apr 21 '10 at 04:19
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Bob Ross
119 points

4 Answers


3

I can't decide which one of two possible web services to launch [...] hedge my bets and launch both.

Absolutely not! Bringing just one commercially successful web service to market requires tremendous amounts of work. Doing two at the same time could likely result in both ventures dying from lack of resources.

Without getting into detail about each lets assume they each have an equal chance of success

Probably they don't have an equal chance. Sorry to be rough, but what you're writing above could indicate that you have not analyzed the business opportunities deeply enough? What I would suggest is to find an inexpensive, low-effort way of testing your assumptions about the market opportunity -- in short, a Minimum Viable Product that you test on the target market to learn where you assumptions are incorrect before building a full product.

I highly recommend that you research "Lean Startup", and the ideas by Steve Blank / Eric Ries / Sean Ellis. This emerging methodology is especially on target for low-cash web application businesses. :-) Ash Maurya's blog could be a good place to start for an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology.

answered Apr 21 '10 at 21:44
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Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points
  • Thank you for the feedback and links. Ash Maurya will be a great learning tool as well as Steve Blank. I think I will give Steve's workbook a try and see where that leaves me before moving forward. – Bob Ross 9 years ago

1

It really comes down to how much time each business really requires - and it's not always a bad idea to try to hedge one business against another as long as both are getting the attention they deserve to succeed.

Considering you have a limited budget, you should find out how much it will really cost to develop both of the products and whether this is flirting with your budget, bleeding over or giving you ample room to play with improvements. You may find this to make your decision much easier if the costs are too high for either or both.

At the outset, any legitimate business requires a lot of work to set up and so you'll have to at least prioritize on which you want to work on first (no matter which). Once you've taken one to a level that you find your sitting idle too often, switch gears! (This might be while you're waiting for the product/service to be built by contractors, outsourcing companies, etc). Then, you can get the other going in a similar fashion after which you'll naturally find yourself swaying from one to the other as your time and each individual business needs require.

answered Apr 21 '10 at 13:14
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Niyogi
64 points
  • +1. Sounds bad in theory and there is a ton to do get a product off the ground. However, you could put a few different ideas out there as test campaigns to see which one gets the most attention or traction. – Benjamin Wootton 9 years ago

0

In the beginning you'll have to spend time in marketing and passing your message out there.

Having two products, unless they are very similar, will create too much work for you.

I would say launch the one you can support better and with the less resources. As you gain momentum you can introduce the other one. Meanwhile, you'll learn a lot in the process.

answered Apr 21 '10 at 04:32
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Stefanos Tses
981 points

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If you launch both at the same time, would you be able to provide 100% of needed support for them to succeed? On the other hand, if they only require 50% of your attention, then you're good to go. Try to anticipate the needs as the business picks up. A lot of start-ups die prematurely due to the lack of resources.

answered Apr 21 '10 at 04:45
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Usabilitest
1,698 points

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