Growing Fast Doesn't Have to Be Dangerous

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You and I thought Facebook had a fast start, until Groupon took off. So we have a new definition of fast. In the Internet business, we also have our own definition of dangerous.


It’s not like living on the edge of raging wildfires in southeastern Arizona or taking off from the base at Bagram dodging enemy fire. It’s dangerous like all the folks who know just enough about the Internet business to think they know it all. Too often, instant success starts to feel like bullet-proof brilliance.

There’s so much opportunity and so little time. But let’s take a little time to learn from experience — from our own or the competition, from experts with success records and professors from the real world of the Web. Let’s make time to seek out education and training from proven sources. Let’s make time to optimize those landing pages, analyze that new campaign, and test with real users. Yes, it can take time or cost money, or both, but whenever it’s possible, it pays. It also pays to ask for opinions, listen to fans and followers, and take those reviews to heart, however painful or clueless.

We can also learn from the experience of all the Web designers, developers and marketers whose sites we visit and end up staying longer than we intended. Besides those favorites and bookmarked sites, it’s helpful to learn a little from unexpected places, for example, sites like Drumstick.com, Cavs.com and CreativeKidsEducation- Foundation.org. Other sources include those pop-up surveys asking, “Help us make our website better!” You may not win the $500 thank-you lottery, but in a few quick minutes, you’ll learn from the survey questions asked by your peers at companies like Direct Energy or Home Depot. And it’s good karma.

At Website Magazine, we’re dedicated to information and education, sharing the advice and experience that can speed your success on the Web. From the pages of the magazine 12 times per year — print, digital, and apps for iPhone, Android, and iPad — to our five e-newsletters and of course the pages of WebsiteMagazine. com every day, we’re working on your behalf. Latest is the book by editor in chief Pete Prestipino featured on the opposite page. Check it out at www.Web360Book.com. Our staff is lucky to have loyal subscribers and visitors who comment, criticize, correct, and share our content, and most especially, recommend Website Magazine to their colleagues, customers, and competitors.

We recommend that every Web professional take a little time to investigate and choose training and education that can fill in the gaps, fit the schedule and not break the budget. Many of our esteemed contributors travel year round to different events to reach Web professionals and their management, sharing their expertise. Good vendors are another source, and many are packaging training with their technology and services.

It’s no problem finding good sources, but at the fast pace of Internet business today, it can be hard to find out what you don’t know. In fact, for those who don’t know what they don’t know, it can be dangerous.

Kudos to all those Internet entrepreneurs working 24/7, to the corporate corps doing e-strategy and e-tactics for the big brands, and to all the Web whiz kids who can hardly wait to capture the Internet flag. Definitely, the competition is fierce and the heat is on, so today may feel more like a day fighting wildfires or dodging enemy fire. On those days especially, it’s best to remember nobody goes into firefighting without extensive training and back-up, and our Marines are trained before, during, and after their deployments in Afghanistan.

When we’re flying at Internet speed, sights are trained on future results, not so much on analyzing what we don’t know. But there’s no reason to go aloft alone. It takes just a little more time to get informed, check for trusted sources and ask your fans and friends. Be fast, don’t be dangerous.

About the Author: Susan Whitehurst, Publisher of Website Magazine

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