- Take a healthy of amount of social networking (Facebook, Evite)
- Add a good pinch of local search (Yelp)
- Mix in some low-hanging fruit advertising (AdSense)
- Add a couple programmers who know HTML, .Net, Ajax, Flash, etc.
- Stir in some angel or venture capital (optional)
- Bake for several months, launch in beta and serve when hot
It’s not a bad concoction given the current online landscape. After all, if you’re not going to be part of the Facebook eco-system, you better offer social networking given it’s all the rage. And if you can crack the local advertising/search puzzle, the world could be your oyster.
For an example of a start-up following this recipe, check out IPartee, which has just launched after doing a private beta in Canada. The Toronto-based company could be described as Evite on steroids. It lets you plan parties and events but it’s hoping to carve out a competitive edge by also giving people tools to find parties (clubs, events, etc.), connect with other party-goers, and offer reviews. You can also search for venues to find out what’s happen. For example, a search for Massey Hall in Toronto showed that Kelly Clarkson played Oct. 30 (Damn, I missed it!)
The IPartee service is free so the business model is advertising based on offering premium services to power and corporate users – giving it pretty much the same business model as Evite and others such as MyPunchBowl.
It’s left to be seen if the world needs another event planning service – even one with some social network and local search part of the mix – but it is good to seen that Canadian online entrepreneurs are alive and well.
Update: TechCrunch gives IPartee some pretty good coverage-love today but suggests it needs a “Facebook app and an OpenSocial app because nobody wants to recreate their social network just to do one thing.”