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Do it yourself?

Oddly enough it's the areas in which you're supposed to be frugal and do the work yourself that I don't want to. Oil changes, painting, even mowing the lawn, none of these is my thing.

There's some good stuff by Toni Schneider on Found + Read, the new GigaOM site, about the virtues for start-ups of genuine word of mouth. I might very well be one of the marketing people Toni suggests you keep away from the product for the first year, but still I buy in to the idea that it's about a great product that really fills a need; a genuine story instead of a contrived pitch; and making it easy for the first group of users to engage their network simply by using the product.

Perhaps I'm missing the point, wanting to look at sales in the context of this discussion, but when, like Gaboogie, your product is primarily for business users it's unavoidable. And the thing about sales is it's the job that everyone's always tempted to hire for rather than do themselves. It's also why sales people often have a bad rap in the start-up community. They do a job the founders don't necessarily like or respect, and inevitably because the technology is new and resources are scarce they underperform, further reinforcing distrust and all kinds of bad feeling.

DIY for Start-Ups 

From my perspective the answer as a founder is (bet you can't guess where this is going) to do it yourself. If you genuinely believe the product you're creating has unique value (I'm 200% sure that's true of Gaboogie), then that enthusiasm will be infectious, and it becomes an intelligent conversation rather than a sales pitch. It'll certainly be a lot more compelling than the competitors who've created a yawning chasm between the people behind the company and the people out in front trying to sell it.

So Erik, does that mean I just signed up for a couple of years on the road?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2007 9:47 AM.

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