It’s easy to get caught up in the brilliant stories of startups going viral to gain awareness, and the simplicity and usability of certain websites turning into large revenue streams. How cool the actual product is, the fact that the founders just built it and the rest just happened. This is the veritable entrepreneurial myth.
Here’s a few things to think about:
How many sales and business development people do you think Google has? Answer = around 5000. And we all thought their non human automated adwords system did it all.
How many Youtube videos were posted by company created accounts? Answer = Hundreds of thousands.
Who seeds the quirky auction items on ebay? Answer = ebay started the game very early on and let the media know.
Everything is not as it seems. Push marketing is alive wand well, just the tactics have changed. It feels very organic and community driven, but the often the community is created by it’s founders and leaders. Nothing wrong with that, it is the job of entrepreneurs to invent said communities. But it makes for better business articles to talk of such things occurring naturally, so the real story is rarely told.
The question for startups is – what tactics can we employ to garner the same momentum?
I saw this little 1 minute video from Seth Godin (Who I used to worship, and now just ‘like’) and had to post it here. Be sure to read my comments below the video.
Why the numbers are irrelevant to me….
- My blog has few promotional elements on it (they’ll find me if I deserve it)
- I only follow people on twitter I know. I want a conversation. Mind you if you @sammartino at some point I will follow you…. yes I’m interested in conversation.
- Quantity loses to quality every time. Scores are misleading. Numbers are pointless.
- Yes you can meet people on line and then create strong physical friendships. I have many times.
In summary I’d say this. If it doesn’t make sense in the real world (physical life) then there’s a good chance it doesn’t make sense on line. In ‘real life’, that is our off line life we think of our friendships and even business contacts in terms of quality. We don’t go around trying to make 1000 friends and wear a t-shirt that says ‘I have 1000 friends’. Rather, we prefer to have strong meaningful relationships which are one on one. Where both parties benefit. We don’t have a list in spread sheet with the people we’ve met. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
Startups should be using social media to build relationships – not gathering numbers.
From now on I’ve changed my twitter link below on my blog posts. Can you see the change?
I am on Twitter – Click here to chat with me