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Where should I start setting up my ASP?

I have an idea for an ASP, but I don't know all the ins and outs of setting one up. Where should I start? How do I limit my liability?

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The first place you should start is measuring the level of customer need for your ASP solution. Who are the potential customers? Do they know they have a problem that your ASP solution can solve, or do they need to be educated about the value of your idea? Second, you need to thoroughly understand the competitive landscape. Are there other companies already offering similar ASP solutions or companies that have tried and failed to deliver similar solutions? Next, you should determine the cost of delivering your ASP solution through existing third-party mechanisms and directly. After doing this market analysis, you must do a thorough, objective self-evaluation to determine if your ASP solution is genuinely better than others and establish if you have the skills and financing to deliver your solution.

This was first published in November 2004

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