A Low Hurdle
You can get free hosting, domains for $7.95 (or less), free content, RSS feeds, FHGs, etc. Seriously, all you need is a computer, and with a little effort, you can turn a profit with little or no expense.
Usually, I would just blow off those comments as coming from people who were concerned with the additional competition. Heck, most of those complaining probably started off the very same way. Yours truly got into this by responding to an AOL spam telling me that for $25 (or was it $50?), I could make millions selling porn on the Internet.
Of course, I was getting a sub-, sub-, sub-domain and splitting whatever sales I made with the company that spammed me. But heck, $500,000 ROI on a $25 investment sounded pretty good to someone as broke as I was.
While many of us used those early opportunities to get a foot in the door, it seems like today's newbie thinks that the money should just roll in like it was 1996. As I am writing this, I am trying to put myself in their place as far as the thought process, but I am having no luck. So I will give a hypothetical example of what set off this rant.
A newbie buys $15 worth of traffic to be delivered within 30 days. A week passes, and the guy is bitching on the boards that his traffic isn't coming fast enough. I understand that in some Third World countries $15 will feed a kid for three months, but I don't think they are worrying about their Internet connections at home, so I don't think this newbie really qualifies to discredit a company after a week. Hey, if the traffic isn't provided by the time the 30 days end, then go for it, if you must.
While this is just one example, it seems like a week doesn't go by when some new guy operating on a shoestring budget isn't out there slamming an established, respected company or webmaster over some pittance, when it's usually an error on their part, or maybe they just didn't read the TOS, or the mail isn't delivered on Sunday.
I know being scammed is a drag, and it doesn't matter who you are or for how little, it isn't right, and you should not tolerate it. However, approaching the person or company before taking it to the boards should be reserved for individuals who have been around for a while.
I can't help but think that if it was a little more difficult to get started in this business, people would treat it more like a business and begin acting "businesslike."