Stealth mode: Great for the B2, not so much for startups

Folks at Path 101 are doing a very interesting experiment. They are liveblogging their start up. Everything about the start up is out there, including their to-do list from Monday meetings - with items such as preparing presentations for investors, etc. Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures wrote about Path101 in his blog A VC. The company calls themselves pre-monster - it is a place for college students to figure out what they want to be.

Companies that are developing their products or sites entirely in stealth mode might be missing out on a very valuable opportunity - to get opinions and critiques on their products before they are built. Great entrepreneurs tend to treat their startups like a bowl of spaghetti - they build a prototype and throw it out there. Whatever does not stick, they rework and taste test again.

The reality is that there are few, truly radical ideas. For every person who has a notion regarding a ground breaking product, there are 10 more out there who have the same idea. While great ideas have a lot of value, what wins the race in the end is the execution.

I recently encountered three web 2.0 companies that were building the same product. Each of the groups believed that they were the only ones that had the product! When they finally got out of stealth mode, and launched, they were a bit surprised to find that there were about 5 other companies in that space, two in the same city.

In this day and age when people are using Crowdcasting (we wrote about Innocentive which uses crowdcasting to outsource R&D for companies) for everything from personal advice, to building a product, trying to start and build a company in stealth mode carries a certain amount of risk. One needs to get outside information - particularly from people in totally unrelated fields as they are very often able to look at a problem very differently, and might even come up with radical solutions.

One of the big ironies of life is that you must have a lot of whatever it is you are looking for. A friend’s dad who was a banker always used to say “Don’t go to the bank looking for money when you need it. Go to them when you don’t need money”. Good advice when you are looking for funding for your start up.

Similarly, ideas are like a currency for start-up companies. The more you are willing to give or put out there, the more you will get back!

Technorati Tags: stealth mode, crowdcasting

2 Responses to “Stealth mode: Great for the B2, not so much for startups”

  1. By Lefty on Nov 1, 2021 | Reply

    I wanted to throw my site out there as well. I’m blogging my life as I startup my company. It’s a very off the cuff look at everything we’re going through. www mylifestartingup com

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  2. Nov 24, 2007: Blogs & the Death of Stealth Mode « Shepherd’s Pi

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