Tips for Entrepreneurs from Twiistup 6

08.02.2009
Twiistup

As you've been able to tell from our last couple blog posts and all of the tweets, a few of attended Twiistup 6 in Los Angeles this past Thursday and Friday. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Twiistup is a conference that connects people from technology, media and entertainment. There were a lot of fairly new companies "showing off" their product or service and there were panels that covered several topics, from tips for entrepreneurs looking for investors to social media and the "do's" and "don't"s in that area of marketing and tech.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways for entrepreneurs looking for investors:

  • "Some of the best companies were formed in the crappiest time. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur". -This is a great thing to remember. Especially if you want to start your own business but are discouraged by the current economic state.
  • "You have to have a working prototype before you can even talk to a VC, in order to be taken seriously." -Competition is tough right now, so this would likely give you an advantage.
  • From the panel of investors I gathered that there was no "right way" to approach a VC. They each had different preferences. One thing they did agree on was that if you are going to email an investor, you should be sure to be smart about what you email. Don't waste their time.
  • "[When pitching to an investor] pitch the problem first."

And here are some of my favorite takeaways for entrepreneurs using social media as part of their marketing efforts:

  • "Life is bigger than Twitter and Facebook". - Hard to believe right now, right? But it is. Remember that there are other platforms that may work better for your company.
  • "It's not about a specific social network, it's about the HUMAN network. A blend of Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and traditional media." -One of my favorite things about this comment is that it includes traditional media. Remember that social media should be an addition to your traditional marketing plan, it shouldn't replace it.
  • "Just as quickly as TechCrunch can pick you up, that attention fades away. You have to stay visible." -It's easy to see spikes in your sales or visits when you have a new product launch or when you get picked up by a prominent blogger, but you have to remember that once the attention from that fades, you have to continue to work. Bring visitors back some other way. As another speaker put it "The time between PR 'spikes' is marketshare lost."
  • "We earn influence."
  • Your marketers are just as important as your developers. Keep them happy.
  • "Even if your competitor's product sucks, they will do better than you if they do a better job of marketing and communicating." - So true. If you have the coolest, fastest, safest car on the market, but nobody knows it's there, who's going to buy it?
  • "The great opportunity in social media is not the opportunity to talk, it's the opportunity to listen." - We've always had the chance to talk, but we didn't have the tools we now have that allow us to listen.