Tumblr, EverNote, Facebook - How Do They Start?


There is a lot's of start-ups that not protected by a patent like tumblr/twitter/evernote and more...

How do they start getting massive users without letting copycats and Competitor disturbing them??

What is the key for success if I already have a great product?
Complex Technology??
Massive Marketing??

any help would be greatly appreciated.

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asked Jun 21 '11 at 01:47
Frank Parsons
6 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • It's a real question. Thanks for everyone's answer's - very helpful! – Frank Parsons 13 years ago

3 Answers


"The Facebook" wasn't the first social network. It succeeded because:

  1. It had a nutty entrepreneur who worked 16 hours a day, lived on caffeine and created a product that was simple and uncluttered like the "teenage" social networks that existed before him (e.g. MySpace)
  2. The simplicity and usability of "facebook" could not be easily copied, and when it drew the attention of large corporations, it was too late. It became so immensly popular they just wanted a part of it, investment that is, not reproduce and kill off.

It's like a paradox that works in your favor. If you are an innovator, you start in the dark and gain popularity quietly. If you grow and explode, you'll be noticed by the sharks, but by then it may be too late for them to combat your popularity with money. They may want to partner with you to profit from it, or buy you out. Both are good for you. I wouldn't let something like that discourage me.

answered Jun 21 '11 at 02:17
Ron M.
4,224 points


In many of these cases, it's the network effect. You can copy the solution, but without the people already using the service, others are less likely to sign up. Without all of your friends on the service, a knock off social network can be a lonely place.

answered Jun 21 '11 at 02:38
B Mitch
1,342 points


Firstly, social sites like Facebook and applications like Evernote are very different. If you could be more specific about your "great product", it would help.

As with any product, whether or not people use it depends on whether or not it is useful to them. A social network with no users - so no network - is useless, so getting your first thousand or so is a massive hurdle. You just have to persuade as many people as you can (friends, colleagues etc.) to sign up, and hope that, like Facebook or LinkedIn, it will "ignite" and grow on it's own.

If your website is based on user-generated content (any forum, stack exchange, flickr etc...), then you need to generate as much content as possible on your own. These type of sites are a little easier to start, because they are often useful even if you don't know anyone using it. Having said that, they do still need to have some user base, so again get everyone you know to sign up.

Web apps like Evernote or Google Docs are the easiest to spread, since they can be useful in themselves without any user base. If your product is truly great, people will use it on it's own, then tell others about it. Bear in mind, though, that your product really does need to be exceptional - it will need to be innovative and really stand out to convince people to switch. You don't need a huge budget, just make sure your website looks good, promotes itself well and is easy to sign up for. Then, try sending out your website to bloggers and news sites; it's free, and if your product is decent, they'll write about it and start spreading the word for you.

As far as competitors and copycats are concerned, no one is going to spend the time and money to copy you unless you yourself are getting users and are successful; but if you're successful, you have a head start, and any copycat is going to find it difficult to catch up with you (since they have none of the uniqueness or innovation selling points) without a massive marketing budget.

Finally, a lot of people have tried to do what you're doing now; if you spend some time on the internet, you'll find a huge amount of information about internet start-ups and a lot of interesting marketing ideas.

answered Jun 21 '11 at 18:17
24 points

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