While the 53,651 debate was raging and Mathew Ingram was putting geeks on a pedestal, I was meeting with a company called Picaboo. Like Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital, I don’t spend time in “the valley” and had the good fortune of getting a referral to look at Picaboo.
In meeting with the founders, there were two important things every start up person should think about as well as Mathew Ingram.
First, the notion of a “concept round” of funding. In short, the two founders took capital of their own, got some friends and family money for the express purpose of seeing if the idea had any legs. They really didn’t know and really had only a vague idea so prior to spending ‘seed’ or start up capital, they spent their own money trying to nail a plan. Straight up, no marketing spin, they called it straight. It was a great part of the Picaboo story.
Second, paying customers. Paying customer rule, Mathew, not geeks and the Picaboo guys started from day one with a single focus: Can we get customers to buy photo books? Can we get a predictable amount of revenue per customer? No eyeball nonsense; the target was revenue.
I’m not suggesting you ignore anybody who drops by your service or offering. What I am suggesting is to focus on who the customer is going to be and measure your results against that crowd. 53,651 ‘geeks’ who love free, don’t click on the ads, and generally expect more for less, may not be your target crowd.