The following is a guest post by Tomer Tagrin, co-founder of Yotpo.
Entrepreneurs like myself are faced with many challenges today. This is my story of how I’ve learned to address our marketing barrier – or, as I call it, the Brian Solis barrier.
We are two young, highly motivated, internet junkies entrepreneurs and we are both first time founders. Another important thing is that we are both tech geeks and software engineers. This last one is extremely important because it explains why our first instinct (after we had a kick ass idea) was to start writing code. Luckily for us I stumbled upon Brian’s blog as we started coding day and night.My name is Tomer Tagrin and I’m a first time founder of a new Internet startup name Yotpo. In three words, our startup is a distributer of User Reviews ; I know it’s a bit vague, but with a quick search you could understand exactly what it’s about.
As I spent hours reading almost every blog post and posts from other top A blogs (David Cancel, OnStartups and much more) I realized something – something which truly changed how our startup is run, developed and spends money. I came to an understanding that what we’re doing isn’t rocket science, and we aren’t building a new technology for voice recognition. Don’t get me wrong, our algorithms and system are really complex, but it’s nothing that other motivated entrepreneurs throughout the world couldn’t do.
So, we have a technology barrier that in my opinion in the Internet of 2011 it’s just not enough. I remember talking with my co-founder, Omri, and we thought, “Boy, if Brian Solis was part of our team it would be the best thing Yotpo can achieve.” I know you think it sounds corny and a bit shallow but think of it as the Brian Solis barrier, and what exactly is the Solis barrier?
It’s the marketing barrier! We just need to engage and fast, creating our own community of users\potential customers that no one else has. So the question is when and how to start doing it? For us it was just after we closed the seed investment round. After a night of beer celebration we finished hiring 2 top A engineers. I stopped writing code and started with building our marketing barrier. Our 3rd person we hired (70% position) is a content creator who is supposed to create relevant content to our new community. I also started writing @TheNextWeb on the life inside a startup and how is it to be a first time founder. Also, we are now starting to work with a company that will run our social profiles to maximize our engagement with potential users and customers.
Let me just remind you that our product will be up in the air in just 3-4 months so it was a hard time convincing our board members this is the best usage of time and money. I’m not sure if we chose wisely and when is actually the best time starting to build our marketing barrier but I have a feeling we should have started sooner J. A small evidence comes from our Google analytics – we are getting ~1,600 visitors in three weeks. I know it’s not much but for us it’s huge. For sure our next recruitment would be engineers but I really hope we will generate revenue which will let us to hire more content/social creator.
I think it’s a thought every founder/executive of an internet company should take into consideration from day one! How to break the Solis barrier?