(Was out in San Fran and Sonoma County for a few days with the family, enjoying some awesome weather.)
Scarcity in marketing. It’s not just a pricing tactic, folks. RobinHood is looking to open stocks up to the world by offering zero commission trading. There’s a good write-up of the disruptive startup in TechCrunch, but I’d like to call out a neat little UX move we’re starting to see more often with product launches. See the two screens shots below. In the second image, you’ll see that RobinHood offers you to skip the waiting line (which includes a running ticker, a la Mailbox) if you spread its message and invite friends. Novel concept? Not necessarily, but it works. Quibb has taken that a step further and only allows >40% of its applicants in, after manually reviewing each one.
Marketing is hot, son! Here’s what’s been happening, from what I’m seeing up on my perch: software eats the world -> analytics tools become cheap and accurate -> niches, customer segments, and influencers become easier to find and engage -> spray-and-pray marketing methods get outted as lame -> marketers are now responsible for revenue, not just brand awareness. And with the startup boom we’re experiencing, marketers (or growth hackers or whatever) have even more relevance again, from product to distribution. (Check out the search results for “startup marketing” and “marketing for startup” since 2007.) This is a good thing, people. It’ll weed out the bullshit marketers and, hopefully, harmonize functions that should walk hand-in-hand like product design, sales, and marketing.
People want to be a part of something. And they want to be led. I’ve been reading as much as I can on what Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is attempting to do in Las Vegas, a monstrous undertaking. I don’t think startups, businesses, and others are moving out there simply for the funding he’s set up to entice newcomers. I think it’s something bigger, a trigger inside many of us that seeks adventure and tribes and ballsy leaders. As the Wired reporter noted, “Hsieh stands up on the back of his metal horse, so I stand up on mine too. He leads and I follow. There is no reason not to.“