‘S’ Factor: Why Sales Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word in Web 2.0

Strategy & Business Models
Location: 2009 Level:
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For many start-ups making money remains an afterthought. But developing a great application and building community around it is no longer sufficient. Both consumers and businesses are getting wiser about Web 2.0 tools, awarding their attention sparingly.

Good product is more than technology. In order to succeed it has to have the ‘S factor’ (‘S’ for sales) built into it from the very beginning. So why is ‘sales’ still a dirty word in Web 2.0?

Alastair Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of Huddle.net will showcase how to build a successful product from the ground up. He will discuss how efficiently build in sales into the development and give real life examples of start-ups that got it right. In addition, he will ask as advertising revenues become harder to come by in difficult economic times, what other models for monetising usage are there. Finally, Alastair will prove that ‘great product’ and ‘great selling product’ don’t have to be incompatible.

Alastair Mitchell


Since graduating with MSc in Naval Engineering from Southampton University, where he learnt how to build boats and submarines, Alastair has spent the last 10 years in the online services industry.

During early years, he helped to build the first online market place for the global food commodities market, which provided marketing, auction and logistics capabilities to companies across Europe, Africa & the Far East. There he also became a professionally trained tea taster. Alastair then moved to dunnhumby, where he led the growth of its web-based marketing intelligence product to £20m in three years. Alastair joined dunnhumby’s Strategic Management Board in 2005 to head up the group’s Shopping Experience practice, a $60m+ business globally.

Alastair’s grandfather was the inspiration behind starting his own dot-com, Huddle.net. To celebrate this, Huddle’s holding company is named after one of grandfather’s inventions – Ninian, the biggest ever concrete platform ever built.

When not running the company, Alastair enjoys skiing, snowboarding, hiking, diving and driving. The latter has become an infrequent affair as Alastair passionately believes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Awareness
  • HiveLive, Inc.
  • ImageSpan
  • Jive Software
  • Juniper Networks
  • Kapow Technologies
  • Keynote Systems
  • LithiumTechnologies
  • Nokia
  • nomee
  • Qtask
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • Remy
  • TamTamy
  • Vignette
  • Yola (fka SynthaSite)
  • Znak
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Salesforce.com
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
  • EffectiveUI
  • Germany Trade & Invest
  • NeuStar
  • ONEsite

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