Saturday, March 20, 2004

RealCommunities Business Model

Summary: Goal was to own the API for personal profiles

The business model of my previous company, RealCommunities, had an ambitious plan to create and then dominate in the area of personal profiles. Here's the short description from my business model document that I prepared for our angel investors (written in September 1999).

    Community (and Community Application) Portal
    As we build up a large base of customers we can create a portal whose purpose is twofold:
    • Enable individuals to find the “best” community for their needs (e.g. for mentoring, community opinion, experts, investment clubs, etc.)
    • Enable individuals to store, retrieve, update and otherwise maintain a “myrealcommunities” capability in order to
      • More quickly join new communities (that are powered by RealCommunities)
      • Be alerted to new communities of interest to them
      • Quickly find and manage their involvement in various communities

    The revenue stream from this portal could be from our customers (based on referrals, new members to their site), and targeted advertising (since we know a lot about what our community members are interested in).

    Traffic to our portal would primarily come from links from our products on our customers’ websites rather than through expensive branding programs.

RealCommunities Business Model Discussion document, 9/27/99
RealCommunities Executive Summary, 10/00
More about RealCommunities on