Building to sell?

Paid Content has an item today that comments on del.icio.us having gotton an investment from a group of notables, including Esther Dyson, Mark Andreesson and others its here.

At the bottom of the piece, following a reminder that some of these investors were also in Flickr – recently sold to Yahoo, is the following commment:

“Hard not to wonder if they’re in for the long haul or if this is a build-and-sell gig.”

The implication – which I must admit I am imputing – is that there is something unsavoury about building to sell versus being “in for the long haul”. Man, how wrong can you be?

Here are my top ten reasons for selling:

1. You have built a feature not a product.
2. There are no known business models for what you do.
3. You have a technology but not a product
4. You are not solving a widespread problem
5. You can’t make a living from it.
6. It is sucking up a lot of your time because people like using it.
7. It has costs associated with scaling that it can’t meet itself.
8. It’s the only way to get the funding to make it what your vision knows it can be.
9. $x [fill in the blank] is a lot of money and I can do a lot more things with it.
10. Somebody wants to buy it for their own portfolio of features and you like them.

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