A few weeks ago, my friend Ludo Antonov and I attended the TechCrunch disrupt hackathon with an idea in mind. During the hackathon we build a product that enables businesses to quickly and easily establish a web presence – And so JustAbout.co was born.
During the 24 hour period we were able to build a functional prototype. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been hard at work polishing up the product and killing bugs. Yesterday, we finally launched! For our launch we got a few really nice stories from tech blogs around the web. Here are two of our favorites:
Since then, a few people have messaged me saying “How did you do that? How can you get written up?”
My answer : You have to fail. You have to fail A LOT.
In the past, Ludo and I have worked on a number of start-ups and products together :
FlyByMusic – An online music streaming site that let you sync songs to your iPod from a web browser. (That got us in big trouble with the RIAA and cost us a ton of money in lawyer fees$$)
Lolzr- A platform we were going to build funny convertors on. Example : “Change your college tuition into beer.”
One Million Tweeps - An idea to get 1 Million Twitter accounts in a book.
Guess what? All of these went tank down and failed. Why?
Because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing!
….and that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship. You jump off a diving board while being unable to see the bottom of the pool. You have to change directions. You don’t know which way the current is going. Or as Pocahontas would put it, whatever is just around the riverbed. You have no idea. You have to go with the flow.
What did we learn from all these mistakes that helped us this time around?
Don’t keep your idea a secret – “My idea is super stealthy!” “Everyone will steal my idea.” 99.99% of the time, no one will steal your idea – stop flattering yourself. In the past, we’ve held off on PR efforts and refrained from talking about what we were doing. This time around, we talked a lot. We asked industry leaders for feedback and we talked about the product with all of our friends. This opened a lot of doors for us because we were able to get great feedback and feature suggestions.
PR, PR, PR – The first time I did any kind of PR I just made it up. I had no idea what I was doing. Now, people pay me to do it for them. This took a solid 4 years of mistakes to learn how to do it correctly. When you launch a product – tell people! PR is a numbers game – not everyone will write about you. Not everyone will care about what you’re doing. The more people and blogs you contact, the more of a chance you have to be written about. Everything in life is a number game.
Be flexible – Your business model isn’t written in stone and blood. You can pivot and change at anytime. Just because one model doesn’t work, doesn’t mean others won’t. Don’t give up – keep trying new things each and every day.
Though we still have a long way to go to reach success for JustAbout.co, we’re confident that this time around, we know how to run a business better than before. And on that note, I’d like to thank everyone who has given us feedback, connected us with industry leaders, and shared the website.
YOU are seriously the best. Remind me I owe you a hug when I see you!