For Startups, Timing Trends Really Does Matter – Except When It Doesn’t


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Now is the best time in history to start your own business. But depending on what kind of company you’re building, you have to figure out if your idea is poised to capture a trend – or doomed to miss one and face a much tougher road to success.

To learn about the impact of properly timing a trend – or of missing one – we asked 8 successful young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their experiences. And we also got their advice on how to perfectly time your business:

1. Missed Opportunities Open New Doors

It was 2011 when we started building a platform for social media. By then, Buddy Media had already raised over $90 million, Wildfire announced that they had over 10,000 customers, and companies like Vitrue and Involver were the industry titans. Some potential investors told us we were late to the party. However, in hindsight, and especially in light of all of the recent acquisitions of the aforementioned, I believe we had a core advantage to really plug into the “second wave” of social, which has the potential to be even more disruptive than the first. We were able to speak to people who were already using a social media platform and figure out what needs still weren’t being met. By staying small and nimble, we were able to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of social media.– Abby RossBlueye Creative

2. Revisit Past Failures

There’s no lack of ideas that were “before their time.” Many business models that failed in the early 2000s are now incredibly successful because now, the timing is right, the technology is here, and it’s easier than ever before to achieve scale. As an example, my company SitePoint tried selling eBooks back in 2000 and no one bought into it. It was a complete and utter disaster and forced us to print and ship physical books – which sold like hot cakes. The reason is simple, people were still getting used to the idea of shopping online, and paying for digital goods was still a foreign concept to many. Fast forward a few years, with the iTunes revolution, Kindle and iPad, and all of a sudden, eBook sales are trending sharply upward every year.– Matt Mickiewicz,Flippa and 99designs

3. Some Ideas Transcend Timing & Trends

Timing is everything – if your idea is reliant on time. If you want to create a flash valuation or raise a certain amount of money quickly, then it’s of utmost importance. And it’s important for tech in general. But I believe that there are other ideas – rooted in timeless truths – that are not restricted to a certain epoch or Zeitgeist. If your idea is rooted in one of these things, then timing is far less important. If you’re a social entrepreneur fighting for human dignity in a particular area, for example, then it’s less critical whether you start today or tomorrow. My personal view is that I want to be involved with an organization that I believe will be important a thousand years from now. If I find an idea worthy of that standard, then I know it’s rooted in something essential.– Luke BurgisActivPrayer

4. Timing Boosts Your Success Potential >>>    Leer más “For Startups, Timing Trends Really Does Matter – Except When It Doesn’t”

What About Face-to-Facebook?


The recent frenzy of acquisition and consolidation in the social media space is reminiscent of many other boom periods in specific industries. With a wave of social media acquisitions that really came into prominence with the recent acquisitions of CMS vendors Vitrue and Buddy Media, there certainly are those out there that are riding that wave to glory.

Yet this is also a time that marketing consultants Ed Keller and Brad Fay liken to the Gold Rush in 1848. They point out that while this period brought fame and riches to some, for many others it was a farce, a period in which great promise bought little return due to the abandonment of reason by those attracted by its riches.

Keller and Fay carry out a survey that measures offline word-of-mouth, a service called TalkTrack, which dives into what gets consumers really talking. Their research shows that 90 percent of conversations about products, services and brands that take place every day happen offline, maintains that the conversations that we have online are wildly different to those we have offline and warns against what I label Bright Shiny Object Syndrome (this is the desire to blindly follow the latest trend without looking at a true goal or purpose, often leading to botched programs and unsuccessful activations).

Keller and Fay make many valid points in the book, all around what drives word of mouth and how marketers should take the time to understand how their end target will share information. It also maintains that social media are ultimately about people.

On reading it, this ultimately made me connect back to the principles of good social media and how their theories relate to the work we are doing. I have always strongly supported the importance of IRL – in real life – in all we do. I also support the “people theory.” Put otherwise, human beings are at our core fundamentally social. We are, and always have been, guided by the drivers of influence. All good social media practitioners will base their work on social behaviors rather than the latest trend.

At Ogilvy, we combine different theories of human behavior to drive impactful social that scales. One of the most effective theorists in the space is Robert Cialdini, seen by many in the industry as the Godfather of Influence.

His “six drivers” is a very useful list, and one that can be held up to any program to check off and ensure its effectiveness. (…) Leer más “What About Face-to-Facebook?”

Case Study: Ford & Social Media

Can a traditional marketer turn influencers and consumers into vocal believers – at a time of crisis – via a comprehensive, enterprise-level social media strategy?

In November 2008, the domestic automotive industry was on the brink of disaster, facing increased competition, declining sales and a global economic. Ford Motor Company emerged as the only domestic automaker to reject a government bailout and was confident in its 2010 product line up-all vehicles were best-in-class, or among best-in-class, in fuel-efficiency, quality, safety and technology.

However, Ford had to find a way to communicate this to the car-buying public.

We designed a complete enterprise social media strategy that showed “Ford is different” and delivered market share growth at a time of crisis.

From our 100 City Tour for Taurus to the BlogHer Quality challenge, we engaged influencers and consumers in ways that got them to talk and recommend Ford to their peers. We strategically researched, built and managed relationships with over 400 influencers in 6 segments that Ford had never communicated with before. We lay a foundation for listening and a consistent model for measurement to ensure that all social programs could be evaluated. And we built capacity within Ford via marcom integration and training including a program for Ford’s 3000+ dealers.

The results…


Can a traditional marketer turn influencers and consumers into vocal believers – at a time of crisis – via a comprehensive, enterprise-level social media strategy?

In November 2008, the domestic automotive industry was on the brink of disaster, facing increased competition, declining sales and a global economic. Ford Motor Company emerged as the only domestic automaker to reject a government bailout and was confident in its 2010 product line up-all vehicles were best-in-class, or among best-in-class, in fuel-efficiency, quality, safety and technology.

However, Ford had to find a way to communicate this to the car-buying public.

We designed a complete enterprise social media strategy that showed “Ford is different” and delivered market share growth at a time of crisis.

From our 100 City Tour for Taurus to the BlogHer Quality challenge, we engaged influencers and consumers in ways that got them to talk and recommend Ford to their peers. We strategically researched, built and managed relationships with over 400 influencers in 6 segments that Ford had never communicated with before. We lay a foundation for listening and a consistent model for measurement to ensure that all social programs could be evaluated. And we built capacity within Ford via marcom integration and training including a program for Ford’s 3000+ dealers.

The results… Leer más “Case Study: Ford & Social Media”

The Value of a Social Media Fan….Priceless

As social media continues to win respect and legitimacy in the hearts and minds of executives across the world and more companies than ever are looking to open up a Facebook page to take their brand “social” -a question that is repeatedly asked by brands is: What is the value of a fan? (or a “liker” in today’s terms).

This question is often asked by two very opposing camps. For those against social media, there is an inherent derogatory tone and a cynical smirk they like to use when they ask this question, however when discussing old media outlets, they never raise this question.

Allow me to explain: When a prospective client wants an indication of the value of a commercial time slot on a given network, the network will generally provide him with viewership stats, meaning, on average, how many viewers of a prized demographic can the client expect to reach during their 30 seconds of air time. These statistics are gathered and measured against market demand, and translated into a monetary figure. Major Television events, like the U.S. Super Bowl, can reap more than 1 million dollars for a few seconds of airtime.

When you take that criteria and transfer it to Facebook, it’s quickly recognized that demographics and numbers are already a feature which the client gets automatically as soon as he begins his social media path . The demographics are super targeted as members have to opt-in to become “likers” and the numbers are plainly visible for all to see. Yet for some reason, because these “viewers” (to borrow a term from television) are not viewing the commercial (post) during an actual television program, their value is presumed by social media naysayers to be less significant. If anything, the interactive nature of Facebook fans should make them more valuable, not less so. For old advertising to assume that stats and demographics are not enough information to warrant a value estimate for social media, is a clear double standard and downright hypocrisy.


As social media continues to win respect and legitimacy in the hearts and minds of executives across the world and more companies than ever are looking to open up a Facebook page to take their brand “social” -a question that is repeatedly asked by brands is: What is the value of a fan? (or a “liker” in today’s terms).

This question is often asked by two very opposing camps. For those against social media, there is an inherent derogatory tone and a cynical smirk they like to use when they ask this question,  however when discussing old media outlets, they never raise this question.

Allow me to explain: When a prospective client wants an indication of the value of a commercial time slot on a given network, the network will generally provide him with viewership stats, meaning, on average, how many viewers of a prized demographic can the client expect to reach during their 30 seconds of air time. These statistics are gathered and measured against market demand, and translated into a monetary figure. Major Television events, like the U.S. Super Bowl, can reap more than 1 million dollars for a few seconds of airtime.

When you take that criteria and transfer it to Facebook, it’s quickly recognized that demographics and numbers are already a feature which the client gets automatically as soon as he begins his social media path . The demographics are super targeted as members have to opt-in to become “likers” and the numbers are plainly visible for all to see. Yet for some reason, because these “viewers” (to borrow a term from television) are not viewing the commercial (post) during an actual television program, their value is presumed by social media naysayers to be less significant. If anything, the interactive nature of Facebook fans should make them more valuable, not less so. For old advertising to assume that stats and demographics are not enough information to warrant a value estimate for social media, is a clear double standard and downright hypocrisy. Leer más “The Value of a Social Media Fan….Priceless”