It was a strange call from reality. The whole time I have been planning my startup and working on its development I felt a little protected from reality. That big wide world I will eventually embark on, in a quest to turn my plans into a real business. But that call last week was a much needed shake.
Sivan Biran, a young and vibrant entrepreneur and the founder of her own company – Sergata – told me about the Internet-startup reality-style competition they will be running – exit09. For 4 weeks the general public will choose their favorite startup idea. The public will eventually choose 4 finalists, and a team of judges will choose their 4 finalist, and 2 of the 8 finalist will win a week work on the development of whatever you can develop in a week. The two developments will compete on the final prize – 100,000 dollars plus hardware to start it up.
I must admit, I might be a competitive person, but I am not the competitions person. I am even less a reality shows fan than I am a competition person. I wish the daring competitors all the luck and success they deserve. Of course I can’t help wondering what would have come out of twitter, for example, if it had to go through a popularity competition to justify its launch. How many votes from the public would it have received? I am not even sure about the judges votes.
It’s pretty scary out of the box. There are things there which we do not completely comprehend. Not to mention expect. I mean Twitter, again. I’d expect all the contest’ judges to have an account there. How can they judge a competition of Internet ventures if they are not ON the Internet?
No names, but here is a quick research, excluding Sivan. Judge 1 – cannot be found on either twitter or FaceBook. Too private? Judge no. 2 has a FaceBook account with a nice photo and exactly 4 friends, and no twitter presence. Judge 3 is a lot more web active, still couldn’t find a twitter reference. Judge 4 is on Twitter, yey! Private twittering though. FaceBook page doesn’t reveal number of friends. Judge 5 has a FaceBook account, with more friends than judge 2 but a lot less then judge 3 and no twitter. Judge 6 is a mystery. Judge 7 is probably the wildest web animal of them all.
Now to the general public. Do they even know what’s a browser?
Going back to my roots I am examining the communications strategies. Reality shows communications strategies are very simple: they work like the basic popularity contests, much like in high school. They are great when you want to be a pop star. I’d even go for it when you want to market a pop product. But is the general public ready to step out of the box and into the online reality?