What Does It Take To Build A Successful Online Company?

I’m re-posting this interview with Michael Jones because he was recently tapped to be the Chief Operating Officer of MySpace and thought you’d want to see how the man News Corp. is entrusting with its most valuable online asset thinks about building success online.

Michael Jones

Michael Jones


Michael bootstrapped userplane and sold it to AOL, then went on to found Tsavo. Along the way he’s invested in and advised startups like GumGum and Dogster. Most recently, he was named COO of MySpace.

I think web businesses are metric businesses.

They may not be metric businesses when you initially start and you’re just building your software, but at some point it becomes about new users per day, new signups per day, etc.

I think, when you find companies that are thinking on a very detailed metric-basis, or have talent internally to be able to look at it that way, they do find success. It’s a very, very common trend that I’ve seen. I’ve seen very few companies that have had a lot of success without being that focused.

And the greater focus on detail they have, the better they optimize and tune their business.

The other thing that I really want to push a lot of people on, that I think gets lost in the fray sometimes, is making sure that you’re really driving towards the core single value of your product. Versus dealing with a massive feature creep, where you have 50 features, none of which feel like a core value.

I think part of that comes from a discovery process of launching products and iterating and changing. And there’s a fluidity to that iteration process, which is really important. But unless you can get down to that core, you’ll be half-okay for a lot of people and not great for anyone.

Getting products down to that core is very important for any business.

The full program includes:

  • How to get angel investors for your startup.
  • How to bootsrap a company.
  • How to think of content businesses online.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.