Archive | July 2012

How To Get Traction? Or Why Is My Startup Broken?

The Mystery of Achieving Exponential Growth

tl;dr This post looks at how startups gain their initial traction. By studying previous successful startups (like Quora, Mint, Airbnb, Twitter, Facebook, Groupon) we realise that clever mass marketing techniques; and targeting niche markets are the real reason many grew so quickly. Going viral is harder than it looks.

The Problem With Your Startup

You’ve thought of the great idea, conducted various forms of customer validation, recruited your technical co-founder, pivoted twice and finally launched your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Awesome! You are on the verge of making the headlines and dollars. You and your co-founder stare at the web analytics screen waiting for lift off… Something must be broken. You check your Internet connection and click refresh. You ask yourselves why no one is visiting your site? Why is no one buying our product?

The common question of gaining initiation traction is challenging one. Challenging because it fundamentally questions your business model. Going live or launching is the ultimate validation test. Did we build the right thing? Does anyone want our product?

Marketers are quick to advise you to “improve your SEO”, “interact on key social media” or “buy adwords”. Consultants will tell you to “revisit your business model” or “redraw your lean canvas”. While you appreciate their helpfulness, this advice doesn’t always translate to your business case or doesn’t actually work in reality.

How To Get Traction?

When in doubt, look back in time. While not the most reliable tool (history), it may well help you make your next intelligent step forward. Or it just proves that the big names of today faced a similar uphill battle.

Quora has endless questions on gaining traction. Enough to justify the section titled: How Did X Get Traction? Here is a selection of some of our favourite initial traction startup stories.

1. How did Quora get its initial traction?

Adam D’Angelo (Quora Founder) puts it simply: “We invited our friends, and some of them invited their friends, etc.” However this was back in 2010 and the site has evolved dramatically since then. A common thread for many startups is encouraging content creation. Sites that can encourage users to create content retains existing users and attracts new users.

2. How did Mint get initial traction?

Mint insiders go into detail of how they built their user base. Apart from having a great brand that solved a real problem, they leveraged a strong PR and marketing strategy that reaped high quality traffic.

A sweet domain name also helps, but usually comes at a price. Mint supposedly paid $2 million for the four letter address.

3. How did Airbnb get initial traction?

Solve a problem with a crazy idea. In 2007 San Francisco hotels were booked out. The buddying entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to rent out their floor space by throwing an “air” mattress. The concept blew up.

Dave Gooden suggests a rather more sinister approach to gaining traction. He describes a sophisticated mailing campaign via Craiglist.

4. How did LinkedIn get its initial traction?

Lee Hower (LinkedIn Founding Team) boasts impressive growth in users. Within 12 months they claimed 500,000 users!

We are doubtful of good luck and timing however… some claim the uniqueness of their product at that time explained the success.

Others suggest clever news article placements in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine helped gain attention.

5. How did plentyoffish get its initial traction?

A decade ago dating websites became the ultimate place to find your next partner. Many competitors appeared but Plenty of Fish remained in top spot.

The reason behind this success is likely to be Markus Frind’s (founder) smart approach to SEO and Google AdSense. His blog post describes the sites exponential growth.

6. How did Facebook gain its initial traction?

We’ve all followed the news stories and seen the film (“The Social Network“). Was it really down to the determination of one computer programming genius?

The early traction appears to have come collecting e-mail addresses of schools and students. The Facebook leveraged the network effect of well connected groups to gain traction.

They offered an attractive option for networks of schools and students to stay connected. As these networks already existed, they simply moved this targeted niche from older and isolated networks to the newer platform.

7. How did StumbleUpon gain its initial traction?

According to Brad O’Neill (First Angel Investor and Advisor) Stumbleupon was one of the very first add-ons to the Firefox browser. This early relationship helped Stumbleupon grow a significant userbase, as the functionality was integrated into their browsing.

Stumbleupon was one of five or six product ideas the original founders had considered.

8. How did Twitter get initial traction?

The tipping point for Twitter appears to be its showcase at the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. Twitter displayed festival goers messages on large screens around the event.

However before this time, it is likely that the early adopters and a large network of bloggers did their part to spread the word.

9. How did Foursquare get initial traction?

One view is that a launch at 2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) kicked off their growth. Another view is that a city-by-city approach expanded as new users were added. By pushing growth in cities, a combination of city level growth and national growth promoted adoption.

However was it their prior experience with location based technology that triggered their real growth? Dennis Crowley (Founder) several years earlier had developed and sold a similar concept to Google (now Google Latitude).

10. How did Groupon get initial traction?

Groupon began life as the ThePoint, a community campaign site. It was only several iterations later that a simple experiment for pizza coupons on a WordPress blog validated their coupon based model. Or was it?

Andrew Chen suggests a more sinister strategy of realising a “temporary arbitrage in buying tons of demographically targeted ad inventory”. Groupon essentially leveraged a low cost of customer acquisition by buying up massive subscriber lists and then targeting them with marketing messages. The cost of acquisition quickly rose but by then Groupon had a large enough pool of customers.

Conclusions

It appears plenty of mystery exists around gaining early traction. However based on the above analysis, these top tips may help you gain your early traction:

+ Encourage content creation
+ Get a sweet four letter domain name
+ Build a sophisticated mailing campaign
+ Get published in a newspaper article read by your target market
+ Get the most out of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
+ Utilise the network effect
+ Be the first and be integrated into a daily tool (eg be that button on the top of every web browser)
+ Use early adopters and bloggers to promote your brand
+ Leverage prior experience (and networks)
+ Find a low cost of customer acquisition before others do

If you wish to share your own experiences drop us a line or leave a comment or join the Hacker News discussion.

Image Credit: Let A Thousand Nations

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You might also enjoy:
+ Need Startup Advice? – Just Ask Online
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Jason Calacanis talks to Alex Tew of Calm.com

Jason Calacanis (right) talks to Alex Tew of Calm.com

tl;dr Alex Tew created the unforgettable Million Dollar Homepage at age 21. He is now working on Calm.com to help people reduce stress. He plans to build a strong brand online, gradually moving into an offline wellness business.

In 2005 at the age of 21, Alex Tew launched the The Million Dollar Homepage. The home page consists of a million pixels arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid. A 10 × 10 block sold for US$1 each. It was a genius idea at the time that launched Alex in the world of web startups.

Alex and co-founder Michael Acton Smith (of Mind Candy and Moshi Monsters) are now working on a new project called Calm.com to help people reduce stress. He spoke with Jason Calacanis on the always interesting This Week In Startups (TWIST) podcast.

(Check out our list of top startup podcasts.)

Jason loved the concept and the brand, keen to jump on board as the startup’s first investor. Jason seemed impressed by the fact the company has managed to score a lucrative four letter domain name. (Alex does not disclose the price paid but hints towards a high end five figure number.) “Calm” is definitely a clear and concise brand name.

The interview is worth checking out to hear the proposed business model – one of which is building a web based business that will eventually grow into an off line “wellness” company.

Will it work? Who knows? Good luck to Alex and Michael.

More information at their Angel List page.

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

The London Olympics 2012 (In Infographics)

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are less than a week away and excitement is building for the biggest sporting event on the planet. With 26 sports, 10,500 athletes and millions of spectators the numbers are mind boggling. Fortunately the creative folk have simplified the figures into pretty infographics. (Information graphics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge.)

Here are some of our favourites. Drop us a line on if you find any other Olympic infographcs.

1. Time Out Magazine – The Games by tickets, athletes and torch bearers…

2. Schweppes Abbey Well – The drinks company dives into the Summer Games in terms of liquids…

3. McDonald’s – The sponsorship history of one of the official sponsors…

4. Visa – A breakdown of the estimated economic impact of the Games…

5. Olympic Evolution – The initial games featured 14 nations. Now more than 200 nations compete…

6. New Zealand Herald – Breaking down the all the numbers and statistics surrounding the London 2012 Olympics…

7. Daily Infographic – Shows the evolution of Olympic coverage…

8. Complex – A Design History Of The Olympic Gold Medal…

9. Mashable – How Mobile, Social Will Win the 2012 Olympics…

10. Find Me A Gift – Olympic Events You Won’t See At London 2012…

For more infographics and data visualisations check out the Cool Infographics Blog and Google Maps Mania Blog.

Image Credit: In Graphics’ Flickr Photostream

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You might also enjoy:
+ April Fools Day – Some of Our Favourites
+ Friday 13th – 3 interesting facts
+ Happy New Years – Bring on 2012!

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

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The Top 100 UK Startups Revealed

Startups.co.uk has recently revealed their top 100 startups of 2012. The lists demonstrates “the most exciting, creative and disruptive new businesses in the UK today”.

According to the site:

“Launched in 2008, the Startups 100 was the first and bar-setting countdown of the top 100 start-ups in the country. It’s now our flagship feature, published every two years (you can check out our 2010 Startups 100 list here) and previous winners have gone on to phenomenal successes.

Huddle, Shortlist Media, Naked Wines, Wonga and Zoopla are just a few of our alumni, and we have equally high hopes for the companies on our latest list.”

Congratulations to all those that were named. This is a tremendous showcase of British business talent and innovation. The list of alumni members proves that this year’s businesses have a real chance of extending their start-up success.

You can view the full list here or check out the top 25 below.

If you made the list or are a new startup, please get in touch! We would love to learn more and even run a feature on your business.

Top 25 (of 100):

1. Shutl – The start-up solving e-commerce’s greatest problem, giving customers greater control over deliveries. (Read More)
2. Fetch Media – The mobile marketing and advertising agency serving global clients, both sides of the pond. (Read More)
3. MVF Global – The fast-growth online marketing business looking differently at lead generation. (Read More)
4. Hailo – The city-centric app which lets you book a licensed cab – in just two taps. (Read More)
5. Stylistpick – A subscription-based fashion site, selling shoes and accessories hand-picked by top stylists. (Read More)
6. MediaDevil – The five-star mobile accessory brand outstripping its competitors with customer service. (Read More)
7. Stylus – The design inspiration service with a £142m entrepreneur at its helm. (Read More)
8. Onefinestay – Authentic accommodation for the jet set – rent a real, luxury home, with all the trimmings of a hotel. (Read More)
9. Bear – The brand shaking up the snack market with a range of guilt-free, fruit treats. (Read More)
10. Neon Play – The mobile app developer making smartphones even more addictive. (Read More)
11. Crowdcube – The pioneer of equity-based crowdfunding, stamping a new path in alternative finance. (Read More)
12. Transferwise – A cheaper way to transfer money overseas, backed by top venture capital firms and the co-founder of PayPal. (Read More)
13. myParcelDelivery.com – The comparison website for courier services putting an end to the pain of post office queuing. (Read More)
14. zeebox – Hoping to change the way we watch television is free app Zeebox, the self-styled ‘TV sidekick’. (Read More)
15. Conversocial – Helping companies interact with their customers through Facebook and Twitter. (Read More)
16. Crane.tv – The ‘digital storytelling company’, comprising an online video magazine and full-service entertainment agency. (Read More)
17. The Giving Card – The discount card which saves you money while raising revenue for charities. (Read More)
18. MarketInvoice – The online platform where small businesses can auction their unpaid invoices to global investors. (Read More)
19. Blippar – An innovative mobile application, which unlocks cool digital content from images. (Read More)
20. Blottr – The people-powered news service breaking stories quicker via mobile and web. (Read More)
21. Adzuna – The pioneering search engine bringing millions of classifieds together in one place. (Read More)
22. Brainient – The company making video advertising more effective – tapping into a potentially huge market. (Read More)
23. BBOXX – Providing the world’s poorest with access to affordable electricity. (Read More)
24. Seven Hills – The pioneering PR firm putting British entrepreneurship on the map. (Read More)
25. Central Working – The city workhubs helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. (Read More)

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Top 100 UK Startups (2010)
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

How do you get on the Frontpage of Hacker News? (4 Links in 1 Day)

How do you get on the Frontpage of Hacker News?

tl;dr This posting describes our experience of having four of our relevant Hacker News link submissions reaching the top four positions of the Hacker News frontpage. And then us later being hellbanned. How do you get on the frontpage? 1) Luck and good timing, 2) Gain karma points quickly, 3) Smart title, 4) Relevant submission, 5) Avoid downvotes.

Introduction

For a few minutes in late June, four of our news submissions sat on top of the Hacker News frontpage rankings. For many the response will be “so what” or “did you read the guidelines”. This posting is simply a record of observation that may or may not help anyone understand the news sites ranking algorithm.

The System

The community often questions the unknown Hacker News ranking algorithm and voting protocol. The Hacker News Slap – the phenomenon of quickly making the frontpage, only to be removed just as fast – is a mystery to many (all).

The system is not perfect however is probably the best one can achieve given the large volume of submissions to the site. The site gets more than 20k of page views a month to the main domain. Once you start adding in other aggregation and referral sites you get a much larger number.

Duplication of popular stories often occur (eg Steve Jobs’ death, The Facebook IPO…) but typically fresh and unique submissions stay in the top 30.

The Problem

Two significant stories occurred in the week that did not rank (highly) on the site:

1) The extradition of a UK student to US for alleged copyright infringement.

2) China’s technological achievement in space and under the ocean.

The Submission

They felt totally relevant and therefore we submitted links on both stories. We submitted multiple links to try and have one stick on the Hacker News frontpage. If your link doesn’t stay on the frontpage it has zero chance of drumming up any discussion.

1. Wikipedia founder steps in to help UK hacker (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
(HN Comments)

2. Petition to stop extradition of UK hacker (change.org)
(HN Comments)

3. China trumps SpaceX and James Cameron in same week (cnn.com)
(HN Comments)

4. China triumphs in space and sea (bbc.co.uk)
(HN Comments)

The Result

The first two remained in top spot for several hours. The second two were quickly moderated and disappeared into the ether, even though scoring points due to obvious interest. (See screenshot above.)

We quickly discovered we were hellbanned, most likely by a human moderator perceiving our behaviour as a breach of written/unwritten rules. We currently remain banned but hope this posting can be useful to those wanting to share and discuss relevant content with the Hacker News community.

Summary

So, how do you get on the frontpage? It seems to be a mixture of the following:

1. Luck and good timing – Weekends, mornings, evenings. Timing varies however weekends seem to have less noise and therefore a successful frontpage story is likely to remain on the frontpage for longer. However it is likely to experience less traffic than midweek.

2. Gain karma points quickly – Points are crucial in you getting top spot. You could collude with friends and colleagues however if detected faces downvoting.

3. Smart title – The title should be attractive enough to gain attention, but not too suggestive that it breaches guidelines and gets you downvoted or banned.

4. Relevant submission – Remember your audience. Anything off topic or irrelevant is unlikely to get any traction.

5. Avoid downvotes – Once your submission gets voted downwards, your time is up. Typically downvoting kills a submission.

If you wish to share your own experiences drop us a line or leave a comment or join the Hacker News discussion.

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You might also enjoy:
+ Lessons Learned From A Hacker News Traffic Spike
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Kickstarter: Ouya raises $1million in 8 hours and 22 minutes

Update: Ouya raised $8,596,475 from 63,416 backers. Read more about Ouya and crowdfunding here.

Kickstarter is the well known crowd funding website for creative projects. Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavours, ranging from indie films, music and comics to journalism, video games, and food-related projects.

They have gained attention from the growing popularity in crowd funding and the rapid pace at which participants raise money.

From the Kickstarter blog: Yesterday a video game project called Ouya became the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise more than a million dollars, and the fastest ever to do so.

This is absolutely incredible and shows a lucrative opportunity for startups seeking funding. There are numerous resources online that provide a guide to crowd funding.

Ouya are not the only team to raise more than a million dollars. Here are the top eight by speed:

  1. OUYA — 8 hours and 22 minutes
  2. Double Fine Adventure — 17 hours and 30 minutes
  3. Pebble — 27 hours
  4. Wasteland 2 — 41 hours
  5. Shadowrun Returns — 7 days
  6. The Order of the Stick — 27 days, 5 hours
  7. Amanda Palmer — 27 days, 12 hours
  8. Elevation Dock — 57 days

And here are the top ten by dollars received in 24 hours:

  1. OUYA — $2,589,687.77
  2. Double Fine Adventure — $1,064,652.05
  3. Pebble — $863,132.92
  4. Wasteland 2 — $555,407.84
  5. Shadowrun Returns — $378,008.28
  6. Amanda Palmer — $223,348.50
  7. The Icarus Deception — $178,194.00
  8. Elevation Dock — $161,507.00
  9. Penny Arcade Sells Out — $151,221.17
  10. gTar — $138,891.00

If you wish to share your own experiences drop us a line or leave a comment or join the Hacker News discussion.

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Top Startup Podcasts – Learning From Listening

There is an endless supply of information available for entrepreneurs. However reading articles and attending events can get tiresome. Podcasts offer an easy and relaxing way to listen and learn from others in your own time.

We have listed some of our favourite below. There are quite a few to choose from, so you may want to pick out the episodes that best suit your interest.

You may also be interested in learning how to create your own podcast.

1. Techzing Tech Podcast – TechZing is an informal chat show hosted by Justin Vincent and Jason Roberts. They release two shows per week discussing there own tech startup experiences and general ‘Hacker News’ type stories.

2. The Startup Success Podcast – Hosted by Bob Walsh and Patrick Foley. Bob is a consultant, microISV, author, BOS forum moderator and blogger. Patrick is an ISV Architect Evangelist with Microsoft.

3. Startups for the Rest of Us – Hosts Mike Taber and Rob Walling apply their 20 years of experience as software entrepreneurs and share those experiences to help listeners avoid the same mistakes they have made.

4. A Smart Bear – Advice from Jason Cohen, founder of WP Engine and Smart Bear Software.

5. Lean Blog Started in 2005 to host news, commentary, and discussion about “Lean” – the methodology and management system based on the Toyota Production System. Includes some good interviews with top Lean experts, such as Eric Ries (#115, #142).

6. Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner – The university offers over 2,000 free videos and podcasts featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders.

7. HBR Ideacast – The Harvard Business Review produces a weekly audio podcast, bringing listeners the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management.

8. Mixergy – The Mixergy Mission is to “introduce listeners to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you”. Bold and informative.

9. This Week In Startups (TWiST)Jason Calacanis hosts a fun and lively weekly podcast and video series focused on tech startups.

10. Venture Voice – A podcast that explores how entrepreneurs build their businesses and live their lives.

11. Foundation by Kevin Rose – Revision3 has emerged as the leading special interest video network, and has attracted top Internet video talent, advertisers and distribution partners.

12. Founders Talk – Founders Talk Founders Talk is an interview podcast all about awesome, in-depth, one on one conversations with Founders. Tune in for a new show every Thursday!

13. Techcrunch Founder StoriesTechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

14. The Frank Peters Show – Interviews to help entrepreneurs learn what worked for those who were successful. “If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll learn what makes early-stage investing attractive to angels. If you’re an angel, hopefully you’ll learn how not to lose your shirt.”

15. Freakonomics – Listen to economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (co-authors of best selling book, Freakonomics) talk about about cheating teachers, bizarre baby names, self-dealing Realtors, and crack-selling mama’s boys.

Image Credit: Techyuva

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You might also enjoy:
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ A Smart Bear – Jason Cohen on Startups
+ Weekly Digest #1 – How We Stumbled Upon Top Biz Resources
+ Weekly Digest #2 – More Golden Resources for Startup Entreprenuers

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Lessons Learned From A Hacker News Traffic Spike

The Hacker News Middle Finger


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tl;dr Prior to 11 June 2012, only 2,645 visitors had visited our blog. One HN submission sent 2,958 visitors to our blog in one single day. This post documents the experience.

On 11 June 2012 at 14:00 GMT we submitted one of our blog post links to Hacker News. By luck or good timing this submission made it onto the Front Page. It didn’t stay there for long, but this is what happened behind the scenes.

For context we have sent plenty of other submissions to Hacker News, mainly out of curiosity to understand why some submissions go viral while others die a slow and lonely death. We were surprised this one made it through the noise.

We are recording this blog entry i) to share the details with anyone who may care and ii) we had only had 2,645 visitors prior to this event – we received 2,958 visitors in one day.

This experience confirmed that traffic doesn’t matter, good content is important and being unique matters. Otherwise your time and effort is wasted on your audience.

Anyway, here is the commentary:

+ First Hour:

1. Submitted Link to HN:

HN Link: Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus

..00:00 AM Sydney Time
..07:00 AM San Francisco
..10:00 AM New York
..14:00 PM London GMT
..15:00 PM London

2. Tweeted HN Link on Twitter:

.

3. We retweet two tweets made by Hacker News bots:

(Link to Blog Post)

(Link to Hacker News)

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4. Traffic is slowing ticking up to around 200 visitors.

5. HN Link upvoted to 4 points in first hour, 2 comments.

6. Blog post is now on front page of HN (hangs around 20th position).

7. Site traffic hits 800 in first hour with approx 25 hits per minute.

8. Bulk of referral traffic now directly from HN frontpage (news.ycombinator.com), followed by other HN pages, Google Reader, Twitter.

9. HN Link disappears off front page.

10. Traffic flow continues at rapid pace.

+ Next Day:

1. Traffic flow takes a steep dive downwards. Record 281 visitors that is well above our previous average.

** Previous day had two links within HN discussions that directed traffic (250 day prior)
** Before this, traffic was barely ticking over (<20 visitors).

2. Few visitors navigated through to any other parts of the blog. One person reblogged the post, two others left comments.

+ The Aftermath:

1. Over the next 10 days we record c. 380 visitors. Still legacy referrals from the HN site, Google Reader and Facebook.

2. The visitors to the specific linked blog post had diminished.

3. Hopefully some positive lessons learned about running a blog.

Links:
Hacker News Discussion
More Startup Posts

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You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3

This is the next update to our Startup Glossary.

A few months ago we launched our very own startup glossary to help others learn the lingo. This is the latest installment of the commonly used startup buzz words being used in the community. We plan to update the main startup glossary later in the week. Please contact us if you have any submissions or suggestions.

The following are some of the startup phrases or startup buzzwords we are aiming to include in future updates:

Early Majority
Innovators
Laggards
Late Majority
Long Tail
Low Hanging Fruit
Monetise
Ninja
Rockstar
Series A Financing
Sweat Equity
Startup
Stealth
Stack
Term Sheet
Traction
Vertical
Web 2.0

+ A +

A/B Testing

A/B testing, split testing or bucket testing is a method of marketing testing by which a baseline control sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples in order to improve response or conversion rates. (Source: Wikipedia)

At its core, A/B testing is exactly what it sounds like: you have two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric that defines success. (Source: Smashing Magazine)

+ C +

Crowdfunding

The practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. (Source: Oxford Dictionaries)

Kickstarter is probably the most well known and largest funding platform for creative projects.

+ E +

Early Adopter

An early adopter, lighthouse customer or trendsetter is a person who embraces a given company, product, or technology before most other people do. Early adopters form an early element of the technology adoption life cycle, a model that portrays the spread of new ideas and technology. (Source: Wikipedia)

The other categories include:

Innovators
Early Adopters
Early Majority
Late Majority
Laggards

+ F +

Freemium

Freemium is a business model by which a product or service (typically a digital offering) is provided free of charge, but a premium is charged for advanced features, functionality, or virtual goods. The word “freemium” is a portmanteau combining the two aspects of the business model: “free” and “premium”. (Source: Freebase)

Funding

Funding or financing is when a business needs an external source of finance (or borrowings) where the capital needs of the business exceed its own available resources and those of any shareholders. (Source:Business Dictionary)

Well known venture capitalist (and co-founder of Ycombinator) Paul Graham outlines startup funding sources into the following categories:

Self Funded
Friends and Family
Angel Investors
Seed Funding Firms
Venture Capital Funds
Other – Includes grants

(Source: Paul Graham)

The amount of money you achieve from sources can vary, but may follow the below guidelines:

Angel Funding (usually equity) – £25,000 to £500,000
Commercial Lending – various
Venture Funding (usually loan, convertible loans or equity) – £500,000 to £5,000,000
Crowd Funding (usually direct investment) – £5,000 to £1,000,000

(Source: London Funding Conference)

+ G +

Gamification

“Gamification involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Gamification can potentially be applied to any industry and almost anything to create fun and engaging experiences, converting users into players.” Some startups utilise gamification to incentivise user engagement.

(Source: Gamification.Org)

+ H +

Horizontal

Horizontal is a term often used to describe ones business model or business strategy. In this context it focuses on the breadth of one’s product and market.

Horizontal strategies aim to sell a product across multiple markets (moving left to right across markets). Horizontal strategies may suit products that appeal to different sorts of customers, not just a single market segment or industry.

In contrast, vertical strategies aim to sell a product in just one market (moving up and down across a product).

(Source: Entrepreneurs Journey)

Human Capital

“The set of skills which an employee acquires on the job, through training and experience, and which increase that employee’s value in the marketplace.” It may be considered an economic view of a human being – in terms of knowledge and creativity contributions towards an organisation.

(Source: Investor Words)

Hyperlocal

Relates to a “well defined community with its primary focus directed toward the concerns of its residents”.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Current trends apply the terms when referring to applications that make use of mobile and GPS technologies. Such applications connect users to nearby products or services.

+ M +

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A Minimum Viable Product has just those features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers, such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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