A few lessons from this program
Here’s an edited excerpt of what he had to say about it.
Even the idea of building a technical proof of concept is “getting real.” And then once you have that proof of concept, show it to the outside world. You’d be amazing by how many entrepreneurs I come across that refuse to discuss not only the product or the business idea with you, but will never show you the proof of concept for fear that you may steal it.
STEAL WHAT? Everything can be replicated. It’s a ridiculous notion.
And they refuse to get any feedback. We learned this the hard way with one of our first startups, which was a social network for sports enthusiasts. We duplicated MySpace, and I mean MySpace. Bulletin boards, messaging, profiles, adding friends, a handicapping service, it took 18 months to build. We launched–and we realized we built the wrong product.
That’s 18 months!
That was the best lesson we ever learned, even to this day. If I were to do that business again, I would ask myself, “What is the one core service that that business could not have lived without?” And it was the handicapping service that we had built. Not any of that fluff social networking crap. It didn’t matter.
And so with GumGum, we said, “what do we need to do?” We need to track content in real time, on third-party sites. Can we do that? And that’s where we started.
Your turn. What’s your opinion of stealth mode? Am I exaggerating the significance of one clip from a much longer interview that I did with Ari? Tell me in the comments.
[Thank you Jonathan Nelson for connecting me with Ari for this interview!]