Two Reasons Why I Like Local

September 13th, 2007 | Categories: launch, marketing, markets, strategy, trends

Road SignLocal is becoming a huge hit on the web. Companies such as Craigslist (most notably), Yelp, Google Maps, and others have pioneered this regional approach to the Internet. Even traditional, offline players are taking notice. Just look at YellowPages. The company realized that failing to acknowledge this trend could be fatal, especially for a business based completely around local information.

So why do I like local so much?

  1. Anyone can use the service. A constant criticism of web 2.0 start-ups is that they only cater to cutting edge, tech-savvy users. In other words, they preach the echo-chamber. These technologies take a long time to reach the mainstream. With local, the average person can immediately see or fail to see the benefits of a given service.
  2. There is a revenue model. Many local businesses lust to have the ability to place ads or post listings on a regional site that drives qualified, location-sensitive traffic. Such opportunities are quite rare on the net. High CPMs and sizable listing prices are great incentives for a start-up to enter local markets.

Summarizing the previous two points, we find that a localized start-up can market to a larger target group and incorporate a revenue model that fits with the business. These are two of the biggest problems that new web start-ups fail to overcome. From an investor perspective, these two factors provide a significant opportunity.

Local is definitely here to stay. Though it may not seem as exciting or sexy as some of the other web 2.0 ventures, the value proposition for the target market is usually quite compelling. Providing a service to regular folk not only simplifies the pitch, but also increases your chances for success.

Be sure to add your favourite ‘local’ start-ups to the comment section below.


  1. Stephen Albinati Says:

    Good point on the local start-ups. I see that as being quite instrumental in the huge popularity of the second wave of web 2.0 companies such as Facebook. Afterall Facebook’s success lies in the local aspect of its community. It is based on real networks, on people you actually know in real life — those real networks are local — look at your friends list, sure you may have people on their from far flung corners of the earth, people you know through school, through travelling etc. but the majority of your friends are from where you are currently living or from you hometown.

    Its the local aspect that makes all the difference.

    Another great social networking site with a local edge is Everytime I go back to Tribe I like it more and more. Its raison d’etre is to connect people in big cities, and it does a great job, but having a feed of events, news, classifieds, etc. all based on your location.

  2. Mark Evans Says:


    Good post! At PlanetEye, we’re aiming to serve local and international markets based on the idea that some people want to explore destinations around the corner as well as thousands of miles away.

  3. Direction of the Web Says:

    […] What I’m surprised about is the lack of focus around local. I truly believe this to be the most lucrative niche by far. After all, it relates to real people - think Craigslist or YellowPages. Let’s be honest with ourselves - blog aggregators and social bookmarking sites preach the choir. […]

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