(Founder Stories) Kevin O’Connor: Having An “Exit Strategy Is Total Bullshit”

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The Daily Show On How Chain Bookstores Can Compete With The Internet

Chris Dixon wraps up his interview with FindTheBest (and DoubleClick) co-founder, Kevin O’Connor by asking him about his end goal for FindTheBest. O’Connor responds that an “exit strategy is total bullshit,” he is simply doing what he loves doing and notes that if you solve a big problem “you end up with lots of options.”

O’Connor also suggests that people are actually using the social web less intensely as its novelty fades and it becomes a regular part of their web experience.

As the interview concludes in the video below, Dixon inquires about O’Connor’s distribution channel for his “decision-making engine,” FindTheBest. They discuss how all the attempts to game Google makes it harder to be discovered. O’Connor tells Dixon most of his early efforts are directed towards SEO. Recognizing SEO’s flaws (with people trying to manipulate the system) O’Connor notes Google’s attempts to clean up SEO with Panda and says that Panda improved FindTheBest’s results by “25%” the day after Panda launched.

At about 4:25 into the video Dixon notes that the market FindtheBest is in has become flooded with B2C web sites. Dixon asks O’Connor if he worries “that there is so much noise out there that it makes it harder for you to compete?”

O’Connor responds, “our competitors are 10,000 niche sites, we literally do everything from summer camps to fractional aircraft programs to mercury levels in fish.” He goes on to say that their competitive advantage lies in the breadth of categories they compare and the big winner in the space will be “whoever can amortize their R&D expense across the biggest base.” He ends by saying, “for us to enter any one of these individual markets actually turns out to be very inexpensive.”

Make sure to watch episodes III and III of Dixon’s interview with Kevin O’Connor. Prior Founder Stories episodes here.