Many different sources have determined various metrics for describing and comparing companies in the New Economy. I have listed eight characterisics that I believe are crucial for any successful company.
1. Graviational Pull: Keeps you coming back.
Frequently. The idea is that it is a site so intriguing you cannot help but come back. A good example is CNET (http://www.cnet.com)). Buy offering top quality reviews and a par none download area, CNET has a high gravitational pull.
2. Lock-in: Once you start, you can’t stop.
Lock-in, as any good businessman knows, keeps your customers around to spend more money and more time with you. Backflip (http://www.backflip.com) has a strong tendency towards lock-in. I have backflipped over 150 pages and I will backflip 150 moreÉ.
3. Connectivity: Can it be shared?
The be-all end-all of connectivity is Napster (http://www.napster.com). Many file sharing sites offer this nice attribute, such as Visto.com (http://www.visto.com), but other sites offer connectivity and shareability as well. Amazon.com offers you to post your wish list and share it with other shoppers.
4. Network effects: Does it get better as more people sign on?
I realize this is quite intuitive as far as web companies go, however, it is one of the key metrics defining the New Economy. This one metric can provide explosive growth. Blink.com (http://www.blink.com) offers users the option of posting and sharing favorite links, hence as blink grows the usefulness of the site continues increasing as people continue to add their favorites.
5. Timesaver: No brainer.
If it saves me time and makes my life easier, count me in. Yodlee is doing their best to take care of you. By offering users a one stop interface, you can save considerable time checking ten different sites that you visit regularly.
6. Collective: Does it tap into the collective knowledge?
It has been said that all human knowledge resides on the internet. Does your site tap into that? Infonomia.com (http://www.infonomia.com) offers user forums where users of various backgrounds discuss and post resources for the rest of the users. Additionally, open source/community projects build on the same principal. For example DMOZ (http://www.dmoz.net).
7. Visualization: I don’t see your point…
Why should I read pages of text when I can spend one minute looking at a diagram and understand perfectly what is going on. A company called Inxight (http://www.inxight.com) is doing just that.
8. Hypertext: Do associative/intuitive relationships exist?
Again, Inxight is using visual methods to link topics together in a meaningful way. It is also useful if the information can be restructured according to the users needs; similar to techniques used in datamining.