Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Un-Sexy Startup Will Be the New Sexy

Startup tech news--some of it anyway--has become much more like Entertainment Tonight and a lot less like, well, tech.

Fred posted about the noise today, as did Brad. And they were both somewhat vague; more detail about focus would have been great. 

But that's not my point. 

The sexy stuff--controversy, hot startups backed by celebrities, or hot startups backed by celebrity Angels, or startups screwing up badly in public with some lousy behavior, or some crazy valuations or crazy exits--that stuff draws a lot of people in. 

It also can make you feel pretty irrelevant. You aren't invited to that party. Or any of the parties. Because you aren't in that scene. 

And it doesn't matter. Now now, anyway. 

I think the biggest opportunities in business right now are in the decidedly unsexy areas. Serving boomers. Transforming education.

Helping the unhip participate in social media in a smart way. Helping nonprofits grow into the hyper-connected world a new generation of donors have already been in for some time. 

None of this stuff is interesting to the popular tech rags. And it doesn't matter--that has nothing to do with building your business. 

It's decidedly unsexy to help small local businesses build their email lists. But a friend of mine is doing that with his wife, and they're building a great, sustainable, useful business. 

You have to stop worrying about what other people care about and focus on serving your customer base. Or calling prospects. Or developing product that rocks, even if it is only a tenth of your vision. 

Forget the noise. Leave that to the Perez Hiltons of the tech media, and meanwhile build an amazing business that's fulfilling for you and helpful for the world. 

Be unsexy. That'll be the new sexy soon enough.  

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