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Getting a new product off the ground is one of the great challenges in business. That’s well documented for entrepreneurs. VCs don’t get any return from more than 40 percent of their first-round investments and get back less than they put in for two-thirds. I haven’t come across any stats for major companies that launch new products but my experienced guess is that a lot of really new products go bust too.
Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg and his partners made it look easy. The social networking platform ignited almost immediately after it was introduced at Harvard College. It didn’t take many friends seeking friends and guys seeking girls and vice versa to create enough “fissionable material” as I discussed in the last entry . Within a week, more than half of the undergrads had signed on. Facebook then repeated this over the next few years at other colleges across the country by introducing the network when this startup was sure there was critical mass at the school. Over time these individual networks were knitted together and today, six years after its start, Facebook has more than 500 million users globally, accounts for more time than any other site including Google, and is growing quickly.
A couple of weeks ago, Alex Williams asked on the ReadWriteCloud weekly poll what people thought were the " worst terms " in cloud computing. The results were inconclusive. Or rather, there are a number of terms we dislike. "Cloud-in-a-box," "cloudstorming," and "cloudburst" led the pack with the most votes, the latter two suggesting that we may be tiring of weather metaphors in cloud marketing. But one of the terms that has recently been on the receiving end of criticism didn't make it onto Alex's list: platform-as-a-service. Or even just "platform."