Great article on Fast Company.com about Starwave and the challanges of building a web based business. The article identifies five challanges and discusses how Starwave is addressing them with their websites like ESPN Zone and Mr. Showbiz.
- How far can egoless leadership and patient capital take you?
- Can your technology keep pace -- or even better, set the pace?
- Can you assemble a team of unparalleled editorial talents -- who are willing to obsolete their proven skills in pursuit of an unproven new business?
- How do you produce as much original material as possible -- and leverage relationships with brand-name partners for the rest?Challenge Number Five
- Can you maintain your editorial integrity -- when 'integrity' is still undefined?
And a couple of great quotes that certainly caught my attention -
"What we have right now is a kind of access schizophrenia," says Slade. "There's a lot of sound and fury targeted at people who aren't especially good customers while everybody waits for the real customers to catch up."
The promise of new media has always been about convergence : the digitization of everything that makes possible a combining of text, graphics, video, audio -- delivered through another convergence that combines television and computing. If Slade's experience is any indication, convergence is still at the heart of new media -- but not technological convergence. What really matters is human convergence : melding talents from a wide variety of existing media -- every medium, in fact, that predates the Web, from radio to film - and existing industries -- from software to entertainment.
Starwave happens to have MIcrosoft's Paul Allen backing them - which is a pretty nice little kick start for a web business. Maybe he will also be interested in helping to grow a great travel website like www.SoGoNow.com?