Knowing how to present your idea, your business, and particularly your startup, even before you are ready for customers – there is an art to it. For believers in symbolic excellence and “Hollywood” presentation, we offer up 5 new startups that tease the anticipation spot. Get ready to be engaged here…
FitnessIQ™, Dispatch, LoveGov, Virgin Volcanic, and Branch are startups aimed at not only solving some problems but at intriguing us even before they take off too. One thing I find pretty amazing as a tech writer, is that most of these have not even been covered by the major tech blogs. With everybody focused on Google and Facebook, maybe Internet users are missing out on a lot? But that is why I am writing this post, to introduce the marketer and startup developer to key principles, and to show off cool stuff to readers sick to death of Facebook and Google hype. day in, and day out.
Exercise Not Exorcism
FitnessIQ™ is just a pretty set of colors and an athletic moment in-stiller. At least that is what the blind landing page provokes. Track & Field, that old famous “Windows” color coordination, and a new perfect treatment of simple text branding. Even if fitnessiQ never runs a race, it’s clear somebody thought about teasing, even training the first visitors. You see, closed alphas and betas accomplish a lot. Things many developers never even think of in all honesty. Attracting the right users, even expelling the wrong ones, this starts a company off with targeted conversion even before the utility is ever used.
For anyone who ever tested and reported on beta startups, a California company set to offer home fitness products straight to consumers, seems like a good story to me. Here they are, after all.
Dispatch is another beta startup behind closed doors, the landing of which makes one wonder at utility, even need, for an email help system from another world. Okay, maybe not that far out, but certainly potentially time-life saving. Pulling info from those 4,000 emails in my inbox, this might just be something I would use? Maybe. The point is, the way the “idea” is packaged is powerful, symbolic, essential really. The simple text; “Get your time back” – indicates at the least, somebody with a PR and or marketing background, maybe ad man intuition?
What if there was a system personalized to your needs that pulled information out of your emails and put it where it needed to be? What if it could also send you alerts or call your phone when you got an email about something important and insert relevant information into those alerts?
Difficult Made Easy
LoveGov is one of those startups that tackles one of the toughest niches there is, politics. In an arena only usually inhabited by the average citizen (rather than lobbyists and politicians themselves) this startup pretty much says everything with their simple logo. The beta is open now, but the simple, even elegant way the developers “promise” to introduce people to government, even empower them, is brilliant.
Define your political beliefs, get matched to your political ideology and the suggested groups, the get all political and make a difference. This simplified process, and the tools these guys seem to provide, may end up being one of the most powerful startup ideas ever launched. Another thing I really like is that the CEO Joschka Tryba, and others on the team, have put their email addresses right up front to be contacted. Government, and transparency, now there is a combination. This is one I will personally test for you next week, but for now I suggest you try it yourself, it is slick so far.
And then there is just about anything Richard Branson puts his fingers into. Virgin Volcanic, Branson’s live excursion into Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Hollywood is what we’ve come to expect from Branson. Enthralled with volcanoes since childhood, Branson now titilates the mind of the scientist, discoverer, and the child in us all with this expedition. I quote from Richard himself here, and suggest you check out this wonderful adventure yourself. All I can say is, I hope Atlantis is down there.
“I have long held a fascination with volcanoes since reading Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Alongside our adventures with Virgin Galactic and Virgin Oceanic, volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain.”
Big Brother Techie
This last startup, Branch, reminds me a bit of a super cool startup called Me.dium, one I covered several years back for Mashable. Many of you have heard of Evan Williams, the brilliant entrepreneur who helped found Twitter and Blogger etc. As it turns out, a deal with Obvious and Branch makes the dynamic bubbles of Branch even more fascinating. I signed up for the closed doors testing just now, but as for the reader you may want to know Josh Miller (Princeton), Cemre Güngör (NYU), and Hursh Agrawal (NYU2), who with some surfing about, you can discover are quite brilliant geekazoids.
As for what you can expect from Branch? I quote from the Obvious texts:
“Curated groups of people are invited to engage around issues in which they are knowledgeable. This service holds the promise of a new platform for dialogue on the web—a necessary departure from the monologues we have grown so accustomed to reading online. Obvious is thrilled to be partnering with such a friendly, gifted team on this project.”
Interested, aren’t you? I thought so. So ends this lesson. Look for tests of these startups and more, as well as ad and marketing tips from the best in the business.