The Twitter Bootstrap Effect in Startup Marketing

It’s easier than ever to create your own web- or mobile-app. Following updates on websites like Betalist and Product Hunt you see new apps literally popping up every hour. At the same time there is a tremendous wealth of resources available on making your startup or side-project a success. From lively discussions on Y-Combinator’s Hacker News, to blogs by successful SaaS founders and VC’s, to whole communities and Wiki’s on “growth hacking” best practices.

I really like this movement and the openness in sharing things that work. However this also causes the ‘Twitter Bootstrap Effect’¹ in startup marketing. After a while, everything starts to look the same, because people are doing the same. Best practices become common practices. And people lose the reason why they are doing something and just do it because it is on a check-list, and they see other apps doing it.

One of these nowadays common practices is sending emails from the ‘founder’ with a request for feedback. A great tool to get feedback and improve if this would genuine and personal. But in the last months this have become ‘yet another activation email’ that is fully automated. It gives me the feeling you are doing it because others are doing it and you feel you have to do it as well. Especially if I respond with feedback and instead of getting into a personal conversation (something you want, right?) I don’t receive a response at all, but another automated email from the ‘founder’ 3 days later. Please note: this is not one case, this happened five times in the last two weeks.

With the wealth of best practices and tips in making your app a success; don’t loose focus. Don’t just do what the “25 ways to make your app a success” article tells you to, or copy your competitors. Go back to the core: why are you doing it? Ask why 5 times (yes, another best practice, sorry :)). Be unique, be genuine.

¹ = the trend that every web-app started to look the same, because they used the same framework.

How Google Works, by Eric Schmidt

Last month Eric Schmidt, who joined Google back in 2001, published the book ‘How Google Works‘, sharing what he learned after 13 years of explosive growth.

The book gives a great insight in the thinking of Google and its leaders. And covers how the internet, mobile, and cloud computing has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers.

Recommended reading!

When do people go to bed? Insight thanks to wearable technology.

I really like how interwoven technology has become in our daily life. From computers you booted up once a day, to smartphones you use over 50 times a day, to wearable technology that is there always. Even when you sleep.

One of the front-runners in this space is Jawbone. And they are publishing some interesting data about their user base. I started following them after they showed how a recent earthquake impacted sleep for some of their users, and now they published some nice stats about average bed times across regions in the United States.

Clear that New York and Las Vegas stand out in this regards. Find the full article on the Jawbone blog: Which Cities Get the Most Sleep? And you can see the moving gif I created here.

Future of Money: The Rise of Cryptocurrencies at Sibos Innotribe

Yesterday was the first day of Sibos, one of the largest financial conferences in the world, this year taking place in Boston, US. The most interesting sessions are taking place in the Innotribe section, where day one was all about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and the like. The live stream is up and the videos are available on their YouTube Channel.

I’m going on tour! The Fintech Roadshow.

I’m going on tour! In the next few months I will be presenting our new digital banking solution, Backbase Engage, as six events across the United States: starting with Finovate in New York and finishing at Netfinance Interactive in San Diego.

If you’re attending any of the events listed below, please let me know and come and say hello!