Blogging about your startup


5

Most people recommend you blog about your startup while building it, and I have a couple questions regarding that.

  1. Do you tell them exactly what your company will be doing? (ie. your "secret")
  2. If you're outsourcing most of the web development, can you really blog about much?
  3. Would your blog be under the domain name that your website will be, or would you let it be wordpress.whatever.com and transfer it to your site when ready?

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asked Mar 28 '11 at 05:29
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Aslyesnow
214 points

3 Answers


6

I think the cases in which you need to keep something secret are pretty rare. I would also add that if this is your first startup you should get feedback as early as possible and validate your idea.

See if people are interested in what you are doing, if you are solving a real problem, and if people are willing to pay for your solution. It's easy to spend a lot of time building something you think people want, just to find out nobody cares, and you've wasted a lot of money.

You're going to need users. Why not start early? Start blogging, let people know about what you are doing, get feedback, and let people follow your progress. Then when you're ready to launch, at least you already have an audience.

Don't fear competition. Having competition means that there's money there. Most common argument I've heard about keeping the idea secret has to do with the belief that you have uncovered an unserved niche. Ask yourself why is nobody serving this niche? Is there any money there? That may explain the lack of competition. Also the lack of competition implies that you're going to have to educate your users, convince them they need your solution.

Ideas are almost worthless. Being first in the game for a viral idea is an advantage. You might reep the most benefits. But you also have to execute well and keep up your game. There's gonna be competition.
But for most ideas that solve a real problem, it's all about execution, and the way you solve the problem.

So I would say yes, go spread the word around, get feedback, get people excited about what you are doing and build an audience. Eventually you're going to have to tell people what you are doing. Competition will be there regardless, if it's a good market.

answered Mar 28 '11 at 08:36
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Mircea Grelus
782 points
  • +1 for "Ideas are almost worthless"! – Kenneth Vogt 8 years ago
  • So let's say you've started implementing, you have much more limited resources than big companies out there, and you know how to execute well that idea(since the execution is key). Isn't going live and exposing the whole concept too early, a pitfall for your whole startup? Can't a big company just implement your whole concept from 0 and outgrow you in a matter of few months? – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • I say this because in order to get an audience you have to release (perhaps all) parts of your execution in your blog or to the public. By doing that, can you still offer something special against the big company that sees your whole concept exposed on the blog? – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • Well yes and no. Big companies are mostly slow to change. They're more bureaucratic, the decision makings takes a lot more time and they're more averse to risk. Even if they know what you're doing, they might not see the market or not understand or just wait to see how you're doing in the market. You're basically testing their market for potential. So even if they see you there, waving a flag, they might just sit and watch. – Mircea Grelus 8 years ago
  • If you manage to dig gold, and if they're smart, they'll jump in. Because they have the resources. They can easily out-resource you. Now the question is. Do they have the competency? If you think you're more competent in that field, go for it. Fight with the big boys. But otherwise, is that who you want to pick your fight with as a startup? Someone who has infinitely more resources as your startup? But then again, corporations can be slow giants. And sometimes dumb. You might be able to make a long headway until they realize, what's what. – Mircea Grelus 8 years ago
  • well, what I really meant is what if a team of 4-5 people(being the entity with more resources) that is already experienced in startups and also has more money, takes on the idea? They will rapidly grow it and because they have the money, the experience and the developers and also they're small and can adjust fast, they could easily outgrow what I'm currently working on. Isn't this a case when it is wiser to wait and release your first version until you go public? – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • Having version 1.0 before going public is a way to get community feedback and support much better than just throwing ideas on a blog that can be taken by such companies for replication. At least, with v1.0 you have something to go on VC companies that can support you and keep you in the loop. Without v1.0, you're just at the ideas stage - and as you said, ideas are worthless without the execution. Does this make sense? – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • One practical example would be if you were to do the next twitter. Twitter on it's own is quite simple to implement by someone with medium resources available. So it's easy if you know all execution details and have the resources to execute it. By throwing all the execution details and your ideas on a blog before releasing it, would also create the opportunity for someone do release v1.0 faster. So you can't go with just ideas to a public event, but if you have v1.0, I think you have a better shot at anything before your competition. – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • Again, this is just my personal opinion, and I am too seeking a good answer on all this. Thank you! – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • @Mircea: any feedback on all this? Thanks! – Leadgy 8 years ago
  • I see your point. Different markets have different momentum. Without more details about the business, it's just general talk. If your want to go viral you have to have something to show. People are not going to go crazy for words on a blog. It means like you said, a v1.0, a minimum viable product. But you can still tease people. Incite them. Capture their interest. You don't necessarily have to go into specific details of describing your business. This is probably suited to consumer businesses. – Mircea Grelus 8 years ago
  • If you're solving a problem for an industry, educate them. Write material about the problems that exist in the market, or just write with insights in the market. You don't have to sell your solution in these blog postings. That's really not very interesting to read. Just educate people in the market about the market. People will relate to that. And if you also have a product that eases some pains in that market, you'll have an audience for that. – Mircea Grelus 8 years ago
  • The idea about blogging is about providing something valuable. It can you're providing entertainment, education, insights, expertise. It can be anything people relate to. It's more valuable than staying silet. – Mircea Grelus 8 years ago
  • Great answer, it makes more sense now! Thank you! – Leadgy 8 years ago

2

  1. We do.
  2. I am a programmer myself so I definitely have a love affair with the development aspect of the company. However that is hardly the only thing going on. Talk about what you are doing.
  3. As you can see in #1, we have a separate domain name for your blog. However, for SEO purposes there is a big debate out there whether having your own domain is better than blahblah.wordpress.com. The argument is that the wordpress.com domain itself has a lot of Google juice. Of course if wordpress.com is an ocean, you will be a tiny drop of water in that ocean. We opted for our own domain because at least it is all us. Your mileage may vary.
answered Mar 28 '11 at 06:13
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Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points

2

  1. Someone else is working on your secret as well. The key is will yours be better and can you generate enough interest?
  2. If you can hire someone to build it, you can tell others what it will do.
  3. Use the domain if you have it and just link to wordpress. No sense in wasting development costs creating blog capability on your site. Focus on creating content.
answered Mar 28 '11 at 07:17
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Jeff O
6,169 points

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