The space for startups is more crowded than ever. First of all, it's now international, so you have startups from every country in the world competing for your customer's attention and their business. Then there is the Internet, delivered through every media, including your smart phone, where the volume of data spewing out is like a new Library of Congress every 15 minutes.
According to a recent study done by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, there were 565,000 new businesses created per month in 2010 in the U.S. alone, which is a 15-year high. The days when you could launch your business with a new website, and the phone would begin to ring, are long gone. Even the Google search engine crawlers may take up to two weeks to find you.
So what's an entrepreneur to do to get his new business noticed these days? According to many experts, including Michael Hyatt, in his new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, you need to build the highest platform you can, to stand out and be heard above all the rest.
Today's platform is built of people, including yourself, contacts, connections and followers, who can amplify your message through social media and spread it to your target customers. Most entrepreneurs I know are too busy creating a compelling product to give proper focus to the four phases of building a people and media platform that are equally critical for long-term success:
Success today is more than ever about who you are and who you know, and the platform is all about both of these. Your product or service is the "what," and of course, that needs to have a "wow factor" to get above the noise, as well. Make sure you create products that exceed customer expectations, that you would personally use and solve real problems.
The message here is that it's necessary, but just not sufficient today to build a wow product. People are more distracted than ever, and competition has never been greater. You have to get your customer's attention. Getting noticed is not about ego or being the center of attention. It's about having something of value to others and finding the most powerful way of getting that message to those who can benefit from it.
The best entrepreneurs are stubborn, committed, and driven by their vision to produce a product with a wow factor, and to build a platform that rises above the noise. Their startups will get noticed. How about yours?
Follow Marty Zwilling on Twitter: www.twitter.com/StartupPro