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News

Mobile first? Forget it: Go mobile second — you’ll live longer

Venture Beat– 20 July 2014 

Will the entrepreneur who has completely lost focus over something a VC once said please stand up? Good. Now that you’re all standing, let me tell you a secret: You don’t have to go mobile first.

In fact, for some startups, going mobile first will kill you, while going mobile second will let you live long and prosper.

If it’s a “nice to have,” resist the temptation and focus on building something perfect that brings value. Then, when you have enough users / customers who are devoted to you and you can spare the resources, go mobile to support your service.

Pinterest, Tumblr Drive More Website Traffic Than Twitter, Says StatCounter

Mediabistro – 21 July 2014 

Both Pinterest and Tumblr have driven more referral traffic to websites than Twitter in the first six months of 2014, with Twitter a distant fourth behind these two social platforms and the all-powerful Facebook, reveals data from StatCounter.

Twitter’s Upgrade Endangers WhatsApp’s Supremacy 

StreetwiseTech – 24 July 2014 

Now that WhatsApp has become more and more popular now that got acquired by Facebook, microblogging social network Twitter takes up a new move by improving its private messaging features – a move that marks their war against WhatsApp. Instead of making it as a tool to assist Twitter, the developers work it out as a chat app, according to the company. They call these private messages DMs or direct messages, which are in a form of tweets sent privately between two users that follow each other. It can be between verified accounts held by celebrities or journalists, an option that users can manually change if they want to receive tweets or direct messages from users they do not follow.

5 Things You Can Learn About ‘Growth Hacking’ From The Man Who Coined The Term 

Forbes – 22 July 2014


Sean Ellis was the first marketer at Dropbox, Lookout, Xobni, and also led marketing teams at companies like LogMeIn and Uproar through IPO filings. He now runs a successful data insights startup called Qualaroo, and is credited with coining the term “growth hacker” in his post, Find a Growth Hacker for your Startup.

1 . Hustle to get traction on your product
2. Try to optimize your product for marketing
3. Survey like crazy and do whatever it takes to learn about your users
4. Think beyond just content in your inbound marketing
5. Embrace an “Always be testing” philosophy

Google Acquires Finnish Startup to Address Smartphone Fragmentation

Mashable – 24 July 2014

Google has acquired a Finnish firm specializing in mobile 3D graphics analytics, a move that will help the search giant tailor its software to a variety of hardware smartphone options.

The startup, drawElements, focuses on figuring out how to optimize complex graphics for various pieces of mobile hardware.

‘Startup Guy’ fashion is literally a style in Banana Republic’s Summer line

Venture Beat – 20 July 2014

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How Tumblr Helped Hyundai Spread Its World Cup Message

Adweek – 16 July 2014 

For the first time, Tumblr is giving brands a look at how their campaigns impact awareness, conducting surveys of users and asking whether they were familiar with their ad partners’ messages. The first study forHyundai during its World Cup marketing showed that a mix of paid posts and free messaging led to a significant jump in consumer recognition, according to Tumblr’s data.

Tumblr said the boost shows the benefits of a paid strategy to help propel campaigns. This was Hyundai’s first paid campaign on the site. Tumblr’s ad products are still maturing with the help of its owner Yahoo, which is starting to sell Tumblr ads on its other Internet properties.

Tumblr also is adding more measurements and targeting abilities. “The tools and analytics we’re providing are a lot more sophisticated,” said Lee Brown, Tumblr’s global head of brand partnerships. “We can show that paid is driving earned and what impact earned is having on brand association and sponsorship association.”

Tumblr’s U.S. Traffic Going Mobile, But Not Up

MediaPost – 18 July 2014 

Whether Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr will pay off remains to be seen. But in the year or so since it purchased the blogging platform and social networking site, it has become more of a mobile acquisition. Most of Tumblr’s monthly traffic now comes from mobile devices, compared to only about a third when it was bought by Yahoo in May 2013.

The problem is that Tumblr’s audience in the U.S. the largest ad market, isn’t growing. It’s actually declining, according to comScore figures.

While the number of mobile monthly visitors has increased to 25.7 million in June 2014 from 19.8 million in the year-earlier monthdesktop traffic has slipped from 36.1 million to 23.3 million. That’s left left Tumblr with an unduplicated, cross-platform audience of almost 43 million in June, compared to 46.6 million a year ago.

How we increased our activation rate from 2% to 30% in 10 steps 

The Next Web – 13 July 2014

One of the greatest lessons of the past few months is that when building a SaaS company you shouldn’t overlook the soft data just because it’s not hard data. This is especially true when following lean methodology. Talk to your customers, always. Especially if you are serious about increasing your activation rate.

The feedback we have collected has greatly helped us increase our activation rate and engage with our users. It has also given us great insight into what features we should be building for our early customers.

1. We chose to go the “private beta” route

2. Create a questionnaire that your users have to fill in

3. Offer a Skype webinar right off the bat!

4. In-app messages

5. Install a live-chat. Be online.

6. Next day message for non-activated users

7. Drip email campaigns

8. Using our own tool

9. Contact form

10. Build a community

How Startups Are Changing Marketing As We Know It

Slideshare – 2013

See slides here.

How I tricked TechCrunch into writing about my startup

Medium – June 2014


People often ask me how I started BetaList. Many companies have unusual origin stories and this one is no exception. I have told parts of the story before, but never sat down to write and share the whole story and reveal how BetaList was really nothing more than a hack tricking TechCrunch into covering my other startup at the time. A hack that later turned into my current startup called BetaList…

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What about vine?

What about vine?

(Source: Mashable)

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You Can Now Embed Vine Videos On Your Blog

Mashable – 10 July 2014 


You can now embed your favorite Vine videos on your Tumblr blog, and Tumblr couldn’t be more jazzed about that. To embed a Vine video, simply add the URL or embed code into the video post box from your Tumblr homepage.

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Previously, you weren’t able to embed a Vine video into your blog post — though there were other ways to get Vine onto your blog, including embedding a tweet containing the video, turning your Vine into a GIF, or uploading from another service (like YouTube).

Thursday’s update eliminates those extra steps and allows users to share directly from Vine.

There’s only a few ways to scale user growth, and here’s the list 

Andrew Chen – 9 July 2014


1. Paid acquisition. If your users give you money, then you can buy users directly through ads. Usually companies try to maintain a 3:1 CLV:CAC ratio to keep their margins reasonable after other costs. (eBay, Match, Fab, etc.)

2. Virality. If your users love your product, then you can get major “word of mouth” virality driven by a high Net Promoter Score. If you can get your product to spread as a result of users engaging with the product, you can further optimize the viral loops using A/B tests to generate even more virality. People often measure “viral factor” to see how effectively existing users attract new users, and of course, you want your viral factor to exceed 1.0. (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

3. SEO. If your product creates a ton of unique content, in the form of Q&A, articles, long-form reviews, etc., you might end up with millions of unique pages that can in turn attract hundreds of millions of new users who are searching for content via search engines. (Yelp, Rap Genius, Stack Overflow, etc.)

4. Sales. For startups targeting SMBs or the enterprise, you’ll end up fielding a large sales org to handle both inbound and outbound. This is especially true for companies targeting local SMBs, where telesales becomes the only option. Of course, to make this work, you’ll need to generate a multiple in revenue of what you pay them.

5. Other. There’s the odd partnership, like Yahoo/Google, that can help make or break a startup – but these are rare and situational. But sometimes it happens!

How to Use Tumblr for Business 

Social Media Examiner– 9 July 2014

How to market on a site with upwards of 300 million unique visitors every month?

#1: Provide the Right Kind of Value
A large segment of Tumblr users use the site as a creative outlet for their artwork and writing. Recognizing that, independent publisher Chronicle Books partnered with Tumblr to run a contest that asked users to submit their ideas for humorous books.

#2: Combine Humor With Promotion
Since links alone get the least amount of engagement and virality on Tumblr, PBS creates fun GIFs and images that tie in with the articles they want to publicize. Their posts are primarily visual and have an element of humor or entertainment so as not to seem too pushy.


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#3: Make Paid Posts Innovative
While Tumblr paid posts do get content in front of users, unless the content is interesting, there is no engagement or virality. Tumblr users want something out of the ordinary, no matter what company you are.

#4: Use Memes to Fit in
The marketers behind Coca-Cola know how to make a brand engaging, and they showcase that talent especially well on Tumblr. The vast majority of their content is visual, and like Denny’s, they play to popular memes.

#5: Know Your Audience
Instead of treating Tumblr as just another social media site, follow Denny’s and create content that appeals specifically to Tumblr users.

Facebook Pushes Video Content With New Recommendations Feature 

Mashable – 8 July 2014

Facebook wants you watching videos. If you already do, it wants you watching more.

The social network is testing a new “related videos” feature that surfaces similar, popular videos after you finish watching one in your mobile News Feed.

Silar to what you might see on YouTube, once a video is done playing in News Feed, you will have the option to re-watch that video, or select a different, related video from a sampling provided by Facebook. The feature, which is only available to a small group of test users on iOS and Android devices, was first reported by TechCrunch.

SaaS Money Metrics – Why VCs Should Focus More on Retention Than Growth

Crowth Hackers  – 30 June 2014

Growth has been the key value driver for SaaS business for several years. But in this presentation IVP (Institutional Venture Partners) makes the case that retention is more important than growth in determining value of a SaaS business.

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Google releases findings on how to spot fake reputation builders

Venture Beat – 9 July 2014


Online reputation in the form of Twitter followers, web traffic, and YouTube views can mean big bucks.

Modern snake-oil salesmen who want to boast exaggerated popularity on social media or e-commerce websites will happily pay freelancers to inflate their reputation. Google, Twitter, and Facebook, however, make their money based on the reliability of their websites, and so Google has now released findings on how to automatically spot these purveyors of fake reputations, or “crowdturfers.”

“Automatically detecting crowdturfing gigs is an important task because it allows us to remove the gigs before buyers can purchase them, and eventually, it will allow us to prohibit sellers from posting these gigs. To detect crowdturfing gigs, we built machine-learned models using the manually labeled 1,550 gig dataset,” wrote a team of researchers in a recently presented paper, which was partly supported by a Google Faculty Research Award. A Google Research blog post yesterday highlighted the work. It’s worth noting that, At the moment, their methods are quite sophisticated and only available to folks who can replicate their advanced algorithm detection system.

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(Source: digitpedia.com)