I had an analytics group meeting that I was planning on attending last night, but then I learned about another startup meeting from my friends at Web Startup Group. I canceled my prior engagement to attend LaunchUp#4. These meetings are all about change and I was not disappointed.
Here is the summary of my thoughts on their ideas for change.
- pre-show Amp Up: Ron Porter presented some principles from his book “Bootstrap Business.” The three needs that he chose to emphasize this evening were: “grit” – an unalterable determination, an undeviating support system, and a higher purpose. He was very comfortable with his message and not only believes what he is sharing, but has lived it. I am looking forward to reading his book.
- LucidChart was the first company on the agenda to give a 7 minute pitch and 7 minute Q&A. They presented some nice slides, have a great advisory board, and are looking very strong for future growth. Their solution is collaborative design/drawing. I am familiar with the pain since my profession includes architecture and design of systems and processes. The Q&A was mostly technical until it was brought around to, “what do you want from us?” The response was simply usage, feedback, and viral marketing (se0). I am signing up and can’t wait to try out this product. I have a number of remote clients that I work with.
- Next on the agenda was Snirk. This company is trying to solve the pain for all businesses that have scheduled customers (beauty, massage, dental etc.). Their solution is to provide appointment reminders to clients so that the business will have fewer missed appointments and therefore more revenue. The idea is good but I sensed that there were unresolved concerns about market opportunities. A viral thought (sub-conversation) was that with the upcoming “here/now” generation, clients being able to (re)schedule/fill/cancel appointment times last minute might be interesting.
- Finally, Blvd Status presented their organic business story. It was interesting to hear how they came to their latest innovation and to also see them reference their new “Block Party” offering coming out in February 2010. Their solution is to provide companies with an enhanced view of their internet brand and keywords. There are enough analytics solutions out there, but this extends the value of the generic analytics by providing feedback on rankings and other social interactions with your companies brand. Their call to action was to signup, promote and give feedback. I want to see how they present the information for multiple websites that I work with.
All the companies that presented this evening were “bootstrapped” and have not taken any VC or angel funding to this point. I am signing up with the companies that have requested it and would encourage others to do likewise if they see a need for the services. I am very excited to see the great things that these companies will be doing in the near future. Encore!