Entrepreneurs are willing to do some desperate things to promote their business.
The founders of Squeeze1 are pledging to get tattoos of their company’s logo if 15,000 people signup before the launch date on February 24th.
Squeeze1 is a social platform to crowdsource support for ideas. People or companies post non-official petitions called ‘limes’ to gauge whether an endeavor is worth doing, and the community shows its support through ‘squeezes.’ The two founders created a tattoo lime in an effort to attract users.
A statement issued by the company said Squeeze is a mix of Kickstarter, 9Gag, and Change.org, designed to “bring your ideas to life.” There is also a Crowdtilt component, but no matter how many components of other successful startups it cobbles together, Squeeze still seems like a highly unlikely business proposition. Furthermore, incentivizing people to sign up by promising to do crazy things doesn’t bode well for user acquisition down the road. Surely, there can’t be enough people interested in other people’s body art to sustain this kind of a strategy.
With so much noise in the startup scene, it is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to resort to gimmicks to get noticed, like sending out boxes of branded chocolates or wearing a crazy outfit at a demo event. My general sentiment is that if your product can’t stand up on its own, you have a bigger problem than getting noticed. Users that are only interested due to hype or incentives probably won’t stick around. Entrepreneurs should spend more time building their product and focusing on what customers really want, rather than attracting fleeting attention to something sub-par.
Perhaps we can chalk up this sort of behavior to youth. Founder James Billingham is 18 and claims to have started multiple businesses in his short life. I am sure his parents are thrilled at the prospect of a lime with a face on it being tattooed on his body for all eternity.
As for me, I may submit a lime to encourage Billingham not to get a tattoo of anthropomorphic citrus.
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition:
Chime in here, and we’ll share the results