At Smarter Social Media we have always used pluURL – a web development firm out of New York – to handle the technical components of our operations. Over the past month I’ve been in talks with pluURL CEO Yaw Etse about merging our operations. Our goal is to create a one stop shop to support businesses online – from developing websites, social media and mobile apps (pluURL) to brand monitoring and engagement with social media (Smarter SM).
Makes sense. But coming together is not always easy. Using SocialCast I’ve floated four major topics of discussion. Here’s the first question with my first reply (at this point I feel kind of like I’m talking to myself):
What is our business? What pain do we plan to address? What is the vision for the next five years? Who are our target customers?
As young, ambitious and capable entrepreneurs, should we focus on a space experiencing rapid change? Look at history – Rockefeller and Carnegie became the word’s richest men because the industrial revolution increased demand for petroleum and steel, Branson made a fortune from airline deregulation in England, Gates made billions from the shift to desktop operating systems and software. There are countless examples.
Strategically, it is essential that we have an advantage in the industry in which we choose to focus. Being young and social media savvy is great, but is not a good enough reason. There are millions of people our age who are social media savvy. So what are our advantages?
We are great marketers: Jaspar and I are marketers by nature. Our first venture was promoting nightclubs and in many ways social media marketing is no different. You have to influence a group of people to take action, be it showing up to a club or buying a product online. Shawn has added a fresh perspective to our process, bringing real world social media marketing expertise. Shawn’s creative and subversive talents are extremely valuable.
We are great web developer(s): Yaw’s ability to develop websites is adds an essential ingredient to the mix. We cannot only develop campaign ideas, but develop the websites and applications they require, in house. This technology expertise enables us to develop a platform that will build long-term equity value beyond, which our individual talents as marketers cannot.
We are connected, young, charming and good looking: Successful people want to help us. They want to see us succeed. They want to be a part of the process. These connections are ESSENTIAL. They will bring us customers, partners and investors.
We are located in LA and NYC: There are about 18 million prospects in our combined geographies. The biggest brands in the world are headquartered blocks from us.
We are hungry: Yaw, Shawn and I have experienced what it is like to work the corporate life. The feelings of coming in on a Monday morning and wondering in terror “Is this the rest of my life?!” I speak for myself when I say I will not go back. This leaves me no option but to turn this into a money making business.
We are humble: We have all come off of a year long ventures that had lackluster success at best. We know what it is like to dream of millions in year one. We know the hard work it will take to achieve our dreams. Our expectations have been tempered. Which will serve to increase our ability to endure the tough times to come.
Please feel free to add other advantages to this list.