I love publisher success stories like this one in Fast Company about WhateverLife.com. Reading about how people succeed online always gets me excited about what is possible through the web, and how anyone with some hard work, basic skills, and a little luck can create a very successful online business.
While WhateverLife.com is definitely not my cup of tea, it’s an impressive story of a high school student with some basic HTML skill building a web business many would really enjoy owning.
I think there are three basic lessons that can be gathered from the long article and applied to any web ventures:
- It doesn’t matter who or where you are. You can be a high school student in Detroit with no business or web experience and build a successful business. On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. In some ways, having a ton of work and business experience can be a hindrance because you become trained to see why things WON’T work instead of driving to just achieve your goals.
- Build your site around something you’re passionate about. Ashley didn’t start her site with the plans to make it a huge business, she started it because she found something she was interested in and just wanted to help. That passion for your topic is extremely important.
- It helps to be your demographic. Even though I’m much more experienced on the web and in the web business world, Ashley would do a better job of building WhateverLife.com then I would because she is the target audience. Just like Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, there’s a huge advantage to being the audience you are targeting. You understand their needs, their wants, what they’re thinking, and what they do and don’t think is cool. I’d have a hard time relating to the audience of high school girls.
Hopefully Ashley made good decisions passing on her buyout offers and continues to build WhateverLife.com.