We've been working to do more with our Step2 discussion platform
lately, and today we're announcing Step2 Startups
-- in which various startups reach out to the Techdirt community for feedback/thoughts/advice. Step2 has already been set up for people, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators, but now we're starting to specifically highlight interesting startups that are asking for feedback from the community. The first participant is the startup Snackr, "The Pandora for Audio News"
A little over a year ago I was blown away by Paul Ford's brilliant essay entitled The Web Is a Customer Service Medium
. It inspired me to write a post
about the key idea in the essay: that the killer app for the web is providing the answer to the "Why wasn't I consulted?" question -- simplified to WWIC. Since then I've spoken dozens of times about WWIC in the context of building communities and navigating digital challenges.
The key to building communities really is to focus on the WWIC question -- and that was a big part of our thinking when we set up Step2. The platform was initially focused on business models and ideas for content creators, but the plan has always been to expand it to cover more and more useful concepts. We'd noticed that our community has a lot of opinions and insights into various new online tools and services. Any time we mention anything on Techdirt, people get into pretty detailed and involved discussions, and we thought we should leverage that with Step2. At the same time, we get tons of requests from PR folks or startup entrepreneurs themselves (we definitely prefer to hear from entrepreneurs directly over their hired-gun PR people) hoping to get coverage on Techdirt. Doing straightup "this startup is launching today" stories isn't really our bread and butter -- unless it fits into a larger trend we're looking at, it just didn't seem to be of much value. Plus, there are dozens of blogs doing that kind of thing.
But what we could
do is help startups get feedback and insights from our opinionated and thoughtful community. We could help make sure you folks "were consulted" on various interesting new tools and services. Hence Step2 Startups -- where we'll be highlighting various startups that request feedback and thoughts from the community here. Step2 is an open platform, so any company can
just post their questions directly and seek feedback, but if you want to be featured on Techdirt as well, like Snackr here, we ask that you hit us up
via the feedback form. If it's appropriate, we'll work with you to find an interesting question on which the community is likely to have thoughts.
So head on over to Snackr's request for feedback
, check out the company's demo video
or get the software itself
(for iOS devices only at this point)... and help improve the product.