29 May 2011

“Can a Startup Launcher Launch Itself?” A great rhetorical question that the guys @ LaunchRock asked themselves via their blog last January.

Everything started (although not really, but reached its climax) with the big buzz created around the start-up launch page of Hipster ( Something as simple as a sing-up page with a catchy name, a short URL and an amazing background.

Hipster hasn’t been the only startup using this basic viral loop to attract thousands of users before the launch.. others like Forkly, Socialcam.. and pretty much many start-ups mentioned on Techcrunch on a daily basis are currently using this system. We don’t really know what their services are about…  they’re all social, easy to share, with location-based features… and that’s about it; but we sign-up don’t we?

Then with a bit of a laugh the guys @ Launchrock showed us all earlier this year how easy is to launch your own start-up. Because start-ups can certainly launch themselves.

How does it work? It’s actually fairly simple: after you sign up, we provide a custom, unique short URL that we encourage you to share out via email, social networks, etc. When somebody visits that URL and signs up, we can track it back to you and give you credit for it. After 3 people sign up with your link, you make our “priority access list” and we let you know via email.

If you’ve got a startup, a blog or really any website that you’re working on and you still haven’t put up a “launching soon” page, sign up so that you can start collecting users and encourage them to share your site. The sooner you sign up and get at least three friends to sign up, the sooner you’ll be able to use LaunchRock for yourself. is the latest example of subtle irony towards the start-up 2.0 world, like Alexia Tsotsis puts it herself Baitr is another “viral launch page that does nothing but visualize your email falling into the abyss, isn’t at all useful. But it is funny“.

God knows how many pre-launch apps & pages we’ve signed-up for from or MomB, will we ever get any answers back?

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Flattr, socialism & other idea(l)s

1 May 2011

Last January we found out the Swedish team behind Flattr were organising their first meetup in central London. As platform users & heavy backers of their universal micro-payment system we thought there was no better thing to do that Wednesday evening than listening to what Linus, Peter, Joel & Pelle had to say about their 1 year old child.

Along with the ex-idealists there was Eileen Burbidge, co-founder of White Bear Yard (their angel investors) who besides giving a few figures and hosting the evening, also tried to throw some light on the strategy & future of something as unfinished but also as attractive as a year old product.

from NextConf, Shareconf, to CampusParty, re:publica... Mr Sunde invests big part of his time as a the image of the service

Payment or not payment intended the micro-funding ecosystem is exploding, maybe finally coming together, so we went there hoping to understand the particularities of Flattr as a service and the obstacles that keep this micro-payment system from reaching true global success.

The idea of a group of people uniting small amounts of $$ to make a project happen or keep it going is certainly not new, but with each twist of the “donate/pay as you go” trend for on-line content the dream of having a credible digital business model for creators, distributors and users is somehow materializing.

Continue reading Flattr, socialism & other idea(l)s

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