While skyping with my friend Brian Rothenberg yesterday to get some product feedback on Oh Hey World, I said this…

Everything successful that happens online is something that already happens offline.

It’s a principle I’ve seen in action over and over and over over the course of my 7 years working in the web industry. Literally every single successful site on the web facilitates an action already being done offline (or online in a really inefficient/unstructured manner). If you have a counter example to this rule of thumb, I’d love to hear it.

If you’re building an online startup and trying to get people to do an action they aren’t already doing offline? Stop right now, and re-think your strategy.

[Photo via allengrow.com]