Earlier today I was talking with a friend and it made me think about posting some of our discussion here. Some of you may know this graph, its the BCG matrix: In a nutshell, it says that - if you have high market share in a growing industry (stars), you should by all means stay there. Keeping your market share means invest in holding your position. - if you have a cash cow (big market share, low industry growth), just milk it. The industry is slowing down, this means you don't particularly want to invest huge amounts of money for an industry that will soon become obsolete or less profitable, but you want to invest enough to keep milking it - if you have a dog (low market share, low industry growth), this is the one you want to forget about. Save what you can, divest as much as possible. - question marks (low market share, high industry growth), this one is the tricky one.. try to turn it into the star, gain market share, but don't throw everything you have at it because it might be difficult to gain that market share. If you think you can't make it to the big spots for this one, divest. Ok, so while this applies mostly to big companies with various ventures or products, I was talking about it saying that it was also relevant for the IM field, since often we have various websites in various niches, doing more or less well. So we came up with a tweak to this model as follows: From noob to something: So basically, we all know that we start with low traffic.. even 0. So no point wanting to throw it all away. The key here for the successful entrepreneur is to be able to make good decisions as to what niche he can crack himself into (question mark => stars = invest) and what niche is either not worth it or too difficult (question mark => dogs). This is not easy, but it relies on your internal CEO gut feeling, and if you can make the right decisions, then you will be successful. It requires analysis, insight, and a bit of luck.. maybe.. For the big players: If you already have carved yourself a nice market share and are sitting on a star or cash cow, its important to remember that its not all over. Think about Nokia around 2000.. they were spanking everyone on the mobile market... Think of Pan Am which was the airline hustlers in the 70s and 80s.. have any of our younger members even heard of them? Our elder ones will for sure. More recently, Kodak is in pretty bad shape, and they practically ruled the photography market until a decade ago.. From Wikipedia: "[Kodak] in 1976 had a 90% market share of photographic film sales in the United States..." and "in January 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection". So remember my fellow spammers, watch out for growing niches, milk your cash cows, hold down your stars, and especially divest your dogs. Consult your gut feeling for the question possibly your question marks. Knowing when to go all in and when to fold is one of the biggest responsibilites of CEOs, and will make or break you. Its not a perfect model and its never that simple, but this might help you in understanding your market better and building up your fortune. Ok, its Friday evening, time to sign off and some beers.