On Saturday, I attended Startup School 2009, hosted by Y Combinator. I’ll have a future post on the event, which was amazing, and had a lot of helpful tips on things very relevant to the MightyBrand audience, including marketing, customer service, and changing the world.
Anyway, one of the biggest things that struck me when hearing from the speakers, including people like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Paul Buchheit (Gmail, Friendfeed), and Evan Williams / Biz Stone (Twitter) was this: they launched very rough and ugly first versions of these projects in just a few days and iterated from there. These companies and products are now worth billions of dollars, but they started as small hack jobs that were designed as a quick, fun experiment.
This principle has been expressed a few ways before, but one of my favorites is by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn:
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
So in that spirit, I’ve decided to launch a quick little plugin that I built Saturday evening, after the event was over. I’d been thinking about how I’d like something like this plugin, but I couldn’t find anything, so I decided to just sit down for a couple hours and knock out the roughest, hackiest version that would still provide some value. I definitely nailed the first part (the code is ugly), but you’ll have to tell me if it adds any value for you.
The plugin is called MightyReach for WordPress, and just like MightyReach.com will do when we launch, this plugin allows you to measure your overall social media “reach” from one place, in this case, from your WordPress dashboard. In keeping with the principle of releasing early and often, it currently only covers Feedburner and Twitter, but we have a long list of other services we’d like to cover, including Google Analytics, Youtube, Facebook, Bit.ly, and more. We also have a lot of feature ideas, but with both supported services and features, we’re more interested in what you have to say, so please contact us and let us know what you’d like to see.