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Startup Marketing Advice from Balsamiq Studios (balsamiq.com)
82 points by ajbatac on Aug 5, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

This guy is a class act! Everything I've read of his has been interesting in some way and this post is the cherry on top - he pretty much gives away step by step how you should be promoting small software products in 2008.

What's great is that you can clearly tell he's just fumbling his way through after reading a few resources here and there, but because he's determined to follow the advice he gets and actually follows through on it, he gets results. He says 20% of the 40 bloggers (including many A/B-listers) wrote something about him just because he asked - that's what it's all about.. walking the (online) streets and spreading your message.

"...with the notable exception of TechCrunch, which I never submitted to since all they care about is VC-money-madness..."

Gah, parroting of anti-VC and anti-TC dogma gets so tired. I think treating both with healthy skepticism is a good idea-- dismissing both outright is just silly.

TechCrunch has covered two startups of mine that didn't have a nickel of funding (neither was in fundraising mode, and both were started with the aim to be a bootstrapped/niche business). They love finding hidden gems, and probably have a pretty fabulous audience for Balsamiq (both bloggers and buyers).

Seriously, people. Set aside the prejudices that startup blogosphere hits you over the head with every day and think for yourself.

Hi there, Peldi here from Balsamiq. I intended for that sentence to sound 'tongue-in-cheeck', but clearly I should have added some smileys at the end... :)

You bring up a good point, I shouldn't have prejudices against anyone. I think that my sentence stemmed by my disappointment with a blog which I used to love and have grown tired of lately. I am not anti-VC in general either, they do a lot of good for a lot of people.

Thanks for pointing this out, I'll watch out more closely in the future.

I'm afraid I'm with this guy. Assuming someone holds a view is a bad idea. The TC attitude is often a result of people not getting written up more than the viewpoint of the people at TechCrunch.

It sounds like you didn't want to be written up by TechCrunch more than you didn't think they'd do a write-up on you. If you didn't want to be written up, thats fine, but assuming they only care about VC backed companies and not trying to get thousands of pageviews sounds kind of silly. What would sending them an email have cost you? Your post is amazing, but that's one mistake I think you made.

You guys are totally right. I think that if I really dig deep, I fear that the reason I didn't submit to Techcrunch before launching was that I felt like they were so out of my league that it wasn't even worth trying. So maybe that sentence above is my way to rationalize this insecurity of mine...if you know what I mean.

Oh well, we live and learn...I am doing Balsamiq primarily as a learning experience - learn about having my own business and learn about myself in the process (what my limits are etc).

Today has been a good day in that respect, thanks HN community! :)

Yaw, I think it's a great post-- I kinda feel bad about being negative, but News.YC is littered with people who rattle off this groupthink-powered "VC and TechCrunch are evil!" It's WAY more complex than that.

Despite any bias' TC may or may not have, they are hugely valuable to reach tech bloggers and (if absolutely nothing else) provide SEO value and legitimacy for some buyers. Maybe I'm missing something but, other than the danger of having your servers die under the load, how does it HURT to be covered on TechCrunch?

I must say I haven't used Balsamiq because you irritated me by twittering an advert at me based on a keyword I'd said. Injecting yourself into conversations is risky.

Sorry about that, I guess I thought my tool could help you, but in your case I made a bad call.

I wish there was a convention in Twitter to flag tweets as advertisements (similar to @ and #). I would gladly use it.

A little update. I have decided to start tagging my direct ad tweets with $$, we'll see if the convention takes off...

http://www.balsamiq.com/blog/?p=217 for details

let me point out: its a great read the information and flow are nice, he linked out to very good resources.... good job this deserves the hn front page

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