Here are extracts of the post, which I found quite insightful (it's of interest to me 'cos it's not that far-fetched for libraries to develop their own Web 2.0 applications):
SGE: ... what are the common features that you see in most successful companies in this industry?Preetam also points out a few social networking sites that he likes. Full interview here.
Preetam Rai: Ease of use (e.g. YouTube or Flickr can be used by someone with very little technical expertise); ease of sharing (allowing people to plug the video and images on their blogs etc.)
Preetam Rai: ... there is no way South East Asia based sites will get the valuation that the US or Chinese services get as we don’t have the user base. And this is particularly true of Singapore. Given that constraint, I think we can develop smaller fun applications - I see some food recommendation sites. I think there is nothing wrong in being a small service as long as you are useful to the community here.
The other thing is to develop services for global/regional audience. I think Singapore has some advantages in building education and travel related services. I like the idea of travel community site Travelfish, a site run by Australians. Singaporeans with so much travel experience should be able to do such content+community site.
SGE: If a young entrepreneur wants to venture into this space, what are the three important lessons that you need him to know?
- Be close to the end-user community - try to hang out as much as possible with your target audience.
- Attend low key tech events in India/ China/ Philippines - the best place to network with individual developers or small companies who might be able to take on your development/user experience work.
- Don’t give up if you see someone else developing a product in the same space as you. More competition means there is someone else who thinks that the idea is worth doing.