In 2012 I started a master degree and as time passes by really quick I am now in my last month of the program. As common in any master program I also have to write a master thesis. I chose not to write not the 53th or something useless thesis on social media but to deal with a nowadays very popular field, namely internet startups. Since the overall web2.0 hype the number of new companies in this area is constantly increasing and a few of them are extreme successful in their business. So I wanted to take a deeper look at some of these successful companies and find out what made them successful. Of course the main reason I could tell you without doing any research, is a portion of luck. But I wanted to go further and explore especially in the field of marketing if there are any strategic behaviours or executive patterns that makes a company successful.
May of you now might think the the whole field of success factor research is a dead end, just see PIMS for example. I am absolutely aware of the fact that all the big success factor studies have not quite a valuable output at last. And more than that I know that my research will not be the holy grale of startup success but I think the results can give new startups a set of patterns to follow and orientation that is proven by market leader companies.
The main aim of my research is to find out strategic and operative patterns uses by very successful e-commerce startups in their early stage and in their later stage. The more interesting part here is the later stage and the formulas of each startup to drive growth. As far as I reviewed the insights so far on that field, it is possible to create a theoretical scale model here that can be applied to other startups.
For the research I conducted interviews with CEOs or CMOs of e-commerce startups in the German speaking region. All the companies have steady revenue and employer growth as I define with this 2 parameters the economical success of a company. I limited the research to companies with an e-commerce business model, that means these companies are selling physical goods over the internet. I think this business model is one of the most exciting ones among internet startups because it requires to deal with a lot of different aspects of marketing to work really good.
Another point I want to mention now after speaking to the executives of some companies is that hardly any of them know exactly the terms when it comes to marketing. Marketing is always used as a synonym for communication and vice e verca. Also strategic and functional marketing terms are mixed so often. I don’t know why these terms you learn in every business school are not used in the right way out there? I have no answer on that…
That was a brief introduction of my thesis so far, I will keep you updated with result and insights.