Less is more

The well-known message to Internet start-ups is to get on-line quickly and add the spice later. That message was again delivered, but this time it cam from a panel of Canadian e-business leaders.

At the recent upstartcanada.com bootcamp presentation in Toronto, the panel spoke to a crowded room about the lessons learned when trying to launch their respective businesses.

Kim Parlee, “SheEO” of Toronto-based NRG Factory, a site which assists entrepreneurial youths, said simplicity is important. “You have to get out there quickly. Don’t make it too much for people to handle,” she warned.

Rick Segal, CEO and President of Chapters Online, noted that a new idea doesn’t guarantee success anymore.

“If you have a technology no one has thought of, 10 minutes after you launch it six other people are trying to do the same thing,” he said.

Mississauga-based Microforum CTO Marco Argenti agreed that speed was important, but stressed that new companies cannot afford to skip the essentials.

“A lack of features cannot really hurt you, but a lack of security or other necessities can,” he noted, telling the group not to be in too much of a rush.

He stated that any problems need to be invisible to the user, or you will lose people right away. “We always suggest you go on-line with something that works, and add the cool features as you go,” Argenti said.

Parlee stressed that the key to having a successful company in today’s market is speed. But she said if you don’t have speed you need to have the best people – and they may not be the ones with the best r