Thursday, July 2, 2009

eDoorways Part 2 - Primary Focus

A Purpose Driven Site
One of the top killers of a .COM venture is the lack of a primary purpose.

When you think of Google, you think of search. eBay - auctions. Linkedin - networking/recruitment. Facebook - social/networking. And so on.

When I first looked at, I had to go back and re-read the home page. I could not find what the purpose of the site was. I'm sure there is one, but the company has not made the effort to be clear on the primary function of eDoorways. That will haunt them if they go to launch with this fuzzy purpose.

The site talks a lot about how they are like Google, eBay, and MySpace all mixed up in a high speed blender. That's utter nonsense if I've ever heard it. Get serious if you want my investment.

Every site must have a primary purpose that consumers attach to your .com. Without it, you'll be forgotten very quickly.

Examples of Purpose Driven Sites
To get a sense of what I'm talking about, compare the following sites to the screenshots on eDoorway's site.
  5. Facebook
  6. Bing
  7. Google

With these examples above, the user clearly sees what the site is about. Furthermore, the user does not see tons of side clutter and pages full of wigdets and gadgets that confuse the eye and delay usage.

Bing Case Study
A great case study of this clutter phenomenon is Microsoft's evolving search platform that has recently culminated with Bing. Microsoft's first major attempt at a search engine was They made it the default homepage of every Windows/Internet Explorer user. Even with this built in advantage of getting 90% of the world to see you first, little old Google still won the search wars. Then came Still, too many things going on, too much noise, and it just couldn't catch up to Google.

Bing has a chance only because it is a different type of search for a different type of purpose. Google has the quick and dirty searching locked up, so Bing has focused on a niche search that combines several related search avenues into the default search results page. For Google and other engines, this is often a secondary step. Bing won't topple Google, but it may have found a way to carve out a viable place in the search world.

Most importantly, the purpose of Bing is clear from the homepage. A big simple page with a pleasing graphic and only one thing to do - Search! Microsoft may have finally learned.

Hunch Case Study
eDoorways should take a close look at Hunch. This is an automated version of consumer decision making that is similar to the EDWY model (consumers ask and live professionals answer in real time).

With Hunch, businesses buy ads through answers and help develop a controlled set of questions that lead the user to predetermined set of answers. It's a clever way to mix non-commercial answers with paid advertisements. As long as the advertisements are relevant and accurate, this should be a great tool for the indecisive.

Get Focused
The final thought I have on this topic is about the common response I've heard from investors in EDWY - "eDoorways is revolutionary and will unify all aspects of consumer and business interaction." I wonder if they have ever said this out loud a few times to hear how silly that sounds.

From the beginning of the commercial Internet, ventures have set off to "unify" the world with a holy grail type web site. ALL HAVE FAILED. It's like chasing the gold at the end of a rainbow or searching for the fountain of youth. Unifying the web is such a vague concept. Successful companies tackle one major need and do it well.

Once they're successful, they often branch out to complimentary services - but never will you see a successful company like Linkedin start holding eBay style actions and selling pet food.

EDWY does not currently have a self-evident purpose. People have to spend a lot of time reading to really "get it". A consumer will give you 5 seconds.

EDWY Advice
EDWY - Get a purpose. Focus on one thing and do it well. And most importantly, be able to explain that one thing in a single phrase.

Investor Homework
Investors - Go to the eDoorways web site and come up with a one sentence description of this company. Post it here, on the Google Finance boards, or on the EDWY corporate blog.

Update: 7/9/09
Since I have not been able to get valid answers from investors on "what does eDoorways do?", I decided to post the phrase that should be on the tip of every investor's tongue:

"eDoorways helps you solve your problems."

That's kind of a generic umbrella, but it clearly communicates the primary focus of the core eDoorways service (SOLVE). IRG will need to help eDoorways more effectively communicate this purpose to the masses.


PinkSkurtz said...

eDoorways or EDWY can be summed up in one word - Innovative! Now, before you trash any more companies you know little about, why don't you tell us all what credentials you have that make you an expert in:
1. Creating a project of these proportions?
2. Project Management?
3. Finance and the stock market?
4. Marketing?
5. Public Relations?
6. Human Resources?
7. Consumer Research?

I am sure there are more, but the fact is, no one outside of the eDoorways Corporation and their staff, their financial backers and a few other select folks that are bound by nondisclosure contracts, have seen the entire site, since you have nothing at stake as a shareholder, why are you spending so much time trashing eDoorways and EDWY stock? Are you working for, and being paid by the "shorters," or are you one of them, who profits by "borrowing" shares of a particular company's stock and selling them, taking the profits, then putting out misleading or defamatory information to cause their stock to drop, then buy it up at the lower rate to "return" it to a broker who "loaned" it to you - and keeping the profit from the initial "sale" of the stock you never owned????? What is it? And what are your credentials? Really sad you are such a coward, stating your opinion without knowledge about the company or the product - all under the guise of anonymity! Get a life...

Jim Jones said...

I have been asked by the angel investors in my company to analyze other tech startups for them to invest in. This is one company. My directions are to be as objective as possible because it's their money to invest.

I am not trashing EDWY. I am providing analysis. If you'll wait a few hours for my recommendations you'll see that I lay out some constructive criteria for a more successful outcome.

If that criteria is met, I'll be recommending to my investors that they consider giving EDWY a shot.

Jim Jones said...

Speaking of anonymity, what are your credentials, PinkSkurtz? I'm sure that's your real name.

You can check out my credentials in part 1 of this series.