Success takes a while. While we haven't exactly launched yet, I can already tell that it will take at least 12 months to get decent traction. In the case of StubHub.com, it took nearly three years... Etsy.com did it much faster, in as little as 12 to 18 months. So why was StubHub.com a good acquisition candidate for eBay? Perhaps StubHub's lifespan was a deciding factor - they've been around for a while and have proven that they're not going to disappear anytime soon. If I recall correctly, StubHub's revenue numbers are less than impressive... So I doubt that's a deciding factor.
However, Etsy's traffic is quite solid and their growth is what I consider to be borderline explosive. Is this a result of VC funding? Is this a result of the tight-knit community surrounding Arts & Crafts? It's no secret that Etsy.com is catering to a rather niche market with a hard demographic to appeal to on the internet, especially when going up against eBay. In my opinion, Etsy.com is clearly more valuable than StubHub in terms of growth and community; I can't say much for their revenue numbers, but I'm sure they are making out pretty good.
It's quite ignorant to expect your startup to open it's doors and sustain a topped out spike on the Alexa charts - it's just not going to happen. The big questions are - how does a startup maintain that growth? How does a startup market their service on a shoestring budget? Virility is one answer (ex: YouTube, MySpace), but there are tons of businesses that won't or can't get the virility that those services have seen (ex: 37Signals, Zoho). I'm going to think about this more and post another blog entry on how I believe marketing could be done on a shoestring.