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Fitness Footwear was launched by Luke Barlow in June 2005 as a way of selling Chung Shi sports shoes, which couldn't be found anywhere else in the UK.
Four years on, the site is doing well, and Luke now has a team of ten, and the business is currently outgrowing its warehouse in Hertfordshire, and has even launched a sister site, onshoes.com.
Having started as a family business, the website has been created on a limited budget: Luke has spent around £100k on the site since launch. So how does it shape up?
According to a study recently released by Yahoo, UK internet users are suffering from information overload.
As reported by the Association of Online Publishers UK, the study, which is entitled "Return on Attention," found that 70% of users "admitted to spending hours sifting through unwanted or irrelevant information."
In short, I (and many others) have observed a major problem with venture capital in recent times - too many VCs with too much money chasing too few "good" opportunities.
According to a study published recently by Marketing Science, the country where you launch your product has a measurable impact on its uptake.
As AdAge reports, the study, entitled "Global Takeoff of New Products: Culture, Wealth or Vanishing Differences," analyzed data from 31 countries, including developing countries and ranked the countries based on how long it usually took for 16 consumer products to "take off" over the past 50 years.
Playfish this week announced a whopping $17m funding round, led by internet-focused VCs Accel Partners and Index Ventures.
In doing so, the London-based developer of games for social networks will have provided encouragement for other startups seeking funding. While this deal has been in the pipeline for a few months it proves that the VCs aren’t entirely hunkering down.
As the woes of the global economy have forced entrepreneurs and investors who had previously been fans of the "everything should be free" ad-based business model to reconsider their beliefs, there seems to be a growing infatuation with paid services again.
Gary Vaynerchuk is director of operations at Wine Library, a wine retailer, and is perhaps more widely known in internet marketing circles for his videos, where he primarily delivers insights into topics related to social media.
He is also the face behind Wine Library TV, the video-based wine tasting blog that has done much to help transform the Wine Library business into a $50m-a-year retailer, from $4m six years ago.
Gary is a blast...
Kudos to Annie Jennings for trying, but something tells me that she’s not going to sell the domain name ‘AfterTheBailout.com’ for more than a million bucks.
Annie, who runs a New Jersey-based PR firm, has fired over two jaw-dropping press releases informing me that the "hottest domain name AfterTheBailout.com is on sale at eBay", with the minimum bid set to a staggering $1m.
Number of bids to date? Zero.
Putting aside the reasons why I personally think Twitter is a waste of time, the real problem for the site is that it doesn't yet have a business model.
In all of the chaos that is the global economy, a story about the sale of a blog for $15m probably received less attention than it would have under different circumstances.
22 year-old Johns Wu started the Bankaholic blog in 2006 to help individuals obtain the best rates for bank savings products.
While there are some who still cling to hope (and there are still some in outright denial), it's clear that most of the people involved with the world of internet startups have accepted the reality of the global economic "downturn" and understand that its impact on the industry will probably run deep and it will probably be prolonged.
With the global economy getting worse by the day, even those businesses that felt confident going into the downturn are getting ready to batten down the hatches as a nuclear winter sets in.