Business plan or business strategy – revisited
A bit more than a year ago I questioned the need for business plans, angel and venture capital investments. As it goes, sometimes one has to eat one’s words – and as I write this, we’ve actually written a business plan, followed the traditional schemata and are looking for investment – two things I would have ruled out only a year ago.
Why this sudden change?
We have been building our semantic publishing tool Flowli for approximately two years now – sometimes more intensively, sometimes taking breaks, depending on client projects and the financial situation. Probably something anyone who tried to bootstrap a business can relate to.
However, we’re now at a point where we’re actually using Flowli for several client projects, where semantics are becoming evermore relevant due to HTML5 micro data and Microsoft, Google and Yahoo’s initiative Schema.org.
We are grateful to our early clients for providing us with very valuable feedback, suggestions and their trust in Flowli – and this is exactly what brought us to our change of opinion. In the previous post, I wrote that the most important thing a company can do is listen to its clients. Faithful to this, we realised that Flowli still had a number of sharp edges and could do with an overhaul of its features and approach. Most significant, perhaps, was our drive to mirror the semantic organisation of content in Flowli’s library with the user-facing display of content. The above-mentioned Schema.org initiative further convinced us that this was the right way forward.
While we could continue bootstrapping the company and aim for a market-ready product in a year or so, focusing on unrelated projects means diverting scarce resources away from the product we believe in – Flowli – pushing back the launch window to a point where we might miss a window of opportunity opened by Schema.org.
Thus, about a month ago, we decided to find out whether our vision of a semantic web publishing service is not only something our clients and we ourselves love, but might also be seen as a promising opportunity for an angel investor or even a VC.