Posted:March 15, 2008

When Did All of this Silliness Begin?

I don’t know about you, but I have reached the bork point with all of these beta invites to new ‘Web x.0′ start-ups. I feel like I’m getting cut a thousand cuts from Ginsu knives and getting peed on by Chia pets.

So, here’s the gig:

  1. Announce your cool new deal in beta; ask everyone to come to your Web site and sign up with their email address
  2. After sign up, tell your visitors that you’re still working out the kinks and worried about scalability (implication: there are literally millions clamoring for this new cool deal); let your visitors know you’ll get back to them once the logjam breaks
  3. Give a few hundred beta invites to Arrington and let TechCrunch shill for you
  4. (Baldly) tell people a good blog post or review will get them an early beta invite
  5. Once a user is in beta, give them a few invites to pass out themselves. This shows your savvy for viral marketing based on more blog posts and buzz as the chosen signal their early, privileged access
  6. In any event, scrutinize the beta list to make sure that competitors and possible naysayers are screened out
  7. When early negative reviews come in, claim plausible deniability because the site is in beta and not expected to meet any real thresholds whatsoever
  8. Mix, and stir again.

My suspicion is that the number of these betas and such crafty-by-far campaigns have little (or, more likely, negative) correlations with eventual commercial success.

I have no real problem with betas, per se. But, pleeeease, stop this lame “marketing”. If you want it private, just tell your friends. Otherwise, keep your pants on and stop the bump-and-grind. It is no longer titillating. Frankly, it’s boring.

Posted by AI3's author, Mike Bergman Posted on March 15, 2008 at 11:44 pm in Software and Venture Capital | Comments (2)
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