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If you want to do the breakfast and lunch thing, do it if you have a cafeteria or large enough sitting area. Otherwise employees will bring their lunch back to their desks and continue working through lunch and burn out at the end of the day. Taking breaks is more healthy and leads to higher productivity in the long run.
If you've got a good product, users that want it and technology that scales, growth can be orchestrated somehow. It's all about timing and push/pull levers.
If 2 million users are subsidizing 48 million, that's a pretty high-margin business.
I think there's an abundance of startups now, but still a shortage of VC's & funds that will take the chances, and will want to build them up aggressively like the US does.
Only 1 out of 10 VCs I spoke to was specifically interested in the enterprise model, whereas most others are expecting traction metrics that are more related to a consumer business.
I think there are several reasons for that:
- they don't understand the enterprise market
- there is a belief that user traction & audience build-out translate into value
- lazy poking (as you suggested)
But underlying that behavior, there is a trend of consumerization of technologies/solutions that are destined for the enterprise. In other words, these are new solutions that have a consumer-facing look and ease of set-up/adoption, but are targeted at the enterprise market. They require less intense selling than traditional enterprise sales, but more than just a 1 minute consumer signup.
My company fits in that new middle-ground, and I'm seeing that trend becoming part of an emerging segment. I wonder if you see that same trend, which gives more hope for enterprise start-ups?
I make additional comments here "Feeding vs. Reading: An RSS Saga" http://www.eqentia.com/2009/12/25/feeding-vs-read...
"Viable business", in reference to Guy Kawasaki's contrast of "fundable business" vs. "viable business".
"VC-less venture" or "VC-free venture"
I also like "self-sustaining" which has been already mentioned.