Product & Startup Builder

Mine's bigger than yours!

Added on by Chris Saad.
I have often wondered - is it who you know or what you know. I think it's a combination of both.

That's why it is probably true that if you live in one of the tech centers of the U.S., fly to all the conferences and have working histories with the big names in the community that you're going to get talked about more.

There are a number of questions that arise from this assumption though.

Is it a deliberately walled garden, is it inertia or is it just an old-fashioned schoolyard clique?

Is there a way to break into [whatever it is] when you live an ocean away without flying over to attend the conferences and social events?

Do they need to talk about you to be successful with end-users?

Believe it or not, these questions (although I am only just now raising them) were the inspiration for our slogan - 'Are you paying attention?'

It seemed to embody the question we were asking of the A-List as well as of our target end-users.

The reason I write about this now is many-fold.

On listible recently I listed Touchstone, on a total whim, on the list 'Web 2.0 Beta Programs you just HAVE to be in'. Within a few days we had risen to number 1 on that list! It was crazy. We were above gMail, Listible itself, Google's new calendar CL2 and even Digg (with their ‘Digg effect’).

Maybe there were just a few votes on the page anyway, but it was a fun little achievement.

Since then we have dropped to 10th place (at time of writing of course). Maybe it was a little backlash against the unknown Touchstone topping out over the big names. Maybe people gave it no thought what-so-ever. Maybe we just don't have 'brand recognition'.

Another reason I bring this up is because we have obviously emailed a few big names about what we're doing in the hopes that we get a little mention on a blog. Why not? After all, there are coming soon screens that have received plenty of publicity before. But we haven’t received a single post reviewing the project's philosophy.

This post is probably a bit too long about a topic that is probably not very important - and I am honestly not complaining - I just thought I would put it out there as an interesting aside. I think these are questions that a few people who are just starting out must be asking themselves.

Do you have to be physically present in the social clique of the cool crowd to get noticed - even now in the social, casual and democratic web? Or does it just take a little more time?

I guess we will find out!

As Jason (37Signals) said during his SxSW speech - it's good to be in obscurity for a while - then you get to fail while no one is watching.

Oh... and if you're on the A-List and you're reading this - how about a post on your blog :)