Your Sexy/Unsexy Mix

It’s funny how once you start thinking about something you see it everywhere.  This morning I woke up thinking about how “soft” all this web 2.0 stuff is and how bubbley things seem to be getting.  Established execs are leaving industry leaders to pitch in at start ups.  Google is madly going after low hanging fruit.

SO, with this in mind I logged into BlogLines today to create a new account and I saw this:

Those titles are not the titles of the early majority – they are the titles of the early adopter.  The hype is building in the technology world, which is at once exciting and scary.  It’s a small world and you can wrap yourself in it like a blanket if you want to….I would not recommend that though.

I know we have always brought a slightly “old school” mentality to how we run our business.  I don’t even have a cell phone.  I think our old school thinking may prove to be a competitive advantage in time.  With things like customer acquisition and driving trial we have focused on unsexy little niches, not as much on the blogosphere and the TechCrunch 50,000.  As a start-up you want a mix, because the unsexy clients are the ones who actually PAY for your service, the others ones (for the most part) just talk about you.  The unsexy customers also act as YOUR PRODUCT VALIDATION because they prove you add value.

So here is some guidance to start-ups that I have said before: don’t expect hype to pay the bills.  Find your marketing mix – your sexy/unsexy mix.  Why?  Because as Paul Kedroksy mentioned in his keynote at mesh “it takes a lot of bodies to fill a swamp”, to which I’ll add, “and corpses are decidedly unsexy”.

3 thoughts on “Your Sexy/Unsexy Mix

  1. “Michael, Is it getting a little bubbly? Maybe. But I'm not sure that I would use the top blogs at bloglines as a supporting example. Feeds are nowhere near a mass market application yet. So, of course, the most popular ones are technology focused. Look at the early stages of the Internet, email, etc., and it seems like there are parallels. First come the techies then everyone else. “

  2. “That said, I think that your advice to start-ups to polish their marketing mix and strategy is right on. Yes, a small bootstrapped web 2.0 start-up requires fewer customers to break even compared to a vc funded one. (How does a bootstrapped bubble pop?) But I'm not sure a blog and a pretty interface do it like they used to. There may simple be too much noise and activity among the early adopter audience.I've got some great podcast interviews on my blog about this marketing/entrepreneurship challenge. Josh Porter, Jason Fried, Ryan Carson, Scott Lake and more. Cheers!”

  3. “Eric,Great to hear from you.I see you are at interview number 40 already…congratulations! I remember when you were at #5…so far so fast. Great work! For anyone reading, Eric's blog is great…well worth a look (use his links above).”

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