“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs
As expected, we have some teams who are actively using their blog to tell the world about their progress and others who are not making progress with their blog. I have a pretty good understanding of why this is the case and I’m going to spend a few minutes discussing why blogging is important, and how to make it easier.
First, the LaunchPad program is about networking. If your team did nothing but make the required customer contacts over the 12 week program you’d be pretty far ahead of the average startup. Contacting strangers and asking for their input on your idea/hypothesis is hard. But blogging your progress can make it a lot easier because it gives you something to point people to that helps them understand who you are, what you’re doing and why they might care. It also helps your team formulate this message. And it helps potential mentors, advisors and connectors find you and help you out.
The other primary goal of your blog is to establish expertise. Show that you know your market and subject area.
So, what do you write about? Remember, a post doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It might be an anecdote, some thing you learned, etc. Here’s some ideas:
- Team bios. Not formal, just an introduction to each team member (with a picture!), their background, skills and interests, even if they are not directly related to your startup. Why? Because shared interests are a way of making connections. Are you a runner, a sailor, an amateur woodworker? Tell us because someone might read that and be into the same stuff- and that might be enough of a connection to get them to talk to you. Don’t forget school connections!
- How you got your idea. There’s a story in there somewhere. Tell it.
- Who you talked to today and what you learned.
- Things you’ve got wrong, and what you learned.
- Things you got right, and what you…
- A problem you can’t figure out
- Some blogs on your subject (do some research and share links. Then reach out to those bloggers for help) and news stories relevant to your market.
- Pictures and screenshots
- Example of use cases/war stories
- Thought Leader pieces. What are the latest developments in your area? Offer up some insightful information and always include links.
- Anything funny you learned along the way
The idea is to keep up an informal dialog with the world around your startup including other teams, mentors, teaching team and anyone else out there. If you don’t have a world, blogging will help you create and nurture one. That what we’re doing here on this blog!