There is no such thing as a website overnight success. Mystery solved, blog for the week = done! Wait, I forgot to explain why! Let's set the stage; in my experience in running a business for the past eight years there is no real overnight success in business, and even more so online. Fast growth can only come in one of a very few ways being:
1. A lot of capital. 2. An indescribable amount of man hours.3. Really good people firing on all cylinders.
Sometimes its a combination, but its never without any of these attributes. The only overnight success in this world comes from gambling, the lottery or stealing, but I'm not taking my chance on beating Vegas, haven't bought a lottery ticket in years, and likewise don't feel like going to jail anytime soon. I don't know where the average Joe stands but that is just me. Your Facebook, Myspace, Google, Amazon, Ebay or any other of the major apparently overnight online successes didn't get their billion dollars a few days after their conception. Not to mention these ideas were unique at the time and have obliterated the competition for market share.
If you added the man hours of development and sweat equity for these gems of the Internet put together, you could circle the globe eight times. I can't exactly prove that because the data doesn't exists, but let me just tell you that none of these sites started out as even a reflection of what they are today. Facebook started as a crude version of Harvard "hot or not", while Ebay was a cheap site for selling beanie babies (boy I'm glad I didn't buy one of those) and Google is years worth of mathematical and search technology genius put together. The bottom line is you aren't going to create a version of these sites and compete with these big dogs within the market place without a great idea and a truckload of benjamins. If you are still reading this and saying, "Duh, everyone knows that," I will say that's not quite true. Ok, so there isn't an overnight success what now? A second part of this myth is that you can make money on the web with little or no investment similar to the California Gold Rush in 1849 that the money is just sitting there waiting for you.
While I will still contend that you can compete for a larger market share with less of a start-up cost of opening up a brick and mortar location, the online marketplace itself has become quite competitive. Simply put, unless you are a developer (or really good friends with one that is a pushover) the fact of the matter is that it's probably going to take some capital and more than just a good idea to build a successful online enterprise. Driving traffic to your site is the second part of the equation and that takes an aggressive marketing campaign to get the users you need to find your site. The amount of money being put into online advertising year over year is growing by the billions. This means the marketplace is becoming more competitive, and unfortunately, to compete in a competitive market place revert to the three tools listed above.
If I burst anyone's bubble I apologize. This doesn't mean its impossible, its simply a matter of uncovering the fact that the web isn't the haven for no cost, next million dollar ideas, those simply don't exist anywhere. The web still remains a great place to invest one's ingenuity, desire, and output of great ideas, this will remain true for long years to come. It just takes more work than the average bear might think to get there.