As is proven over and over again in the arena of early stage companies, just because such a company has developed a nifty piece of technology does not mean that the world will actually beat a path to its doorstep — at least not with money in tow. It takes lots of hard work, skillful execution on a good business plan, and a fair amount of trial and error (and some luck) to bring that reality to bear. So, it’s interesting to see the recent attention being devoted to the diligent efforts of the microblogging phenom Twitter as it finally seeks to define a viable revenue model for itself, much of which hinges, not unsurprisingly, on various forms of advertising.
There are many lessons here about which any growth stage company can take heart. In particular, I found the following observations, from a piece in last week’s NY Times, to be especially candid and revealing about the challenges faced by Twitter in its quest for an as-yet elusive revenue strategy:
“But many advertisers and executives say there are questions to be answered and experiments to be done before Twitter becomes a must-buy, if it ever does.
“Agencies are uneducated, brands are uneducated and, to a certain extent, Twitter is uneducated,” said Ian Schafer, chief of Deep Focus, an interactive marketing agency. “There are no best practices. There are just hunches about what will work.””