March 8, 2011

lessons in entrepreneurship: underdogs are built to party

it's all upside for fast society, the self-proclaimed scrappy underdog of the group texting market. my buddies matthew, mike, and andy are passionate about their start-up, and they "hustle their faces off" (to quote matthew) to make a product they're proud of. their "built to party" app is a connecting tool, helping friends to have fun with each other. version 2.0 drops this week: get excited.

but beneath all the energy and excitement, there's a lot to learn from fast society's start-up strategy. they don't have big-name employees or gobs of VC money, but they've got something their much-hyped competitors don't: unlimited upside. by pitching themselves as a the loveable underdog executing a make-it-or-break-it campaign at SXSWi this year, fast society set itself up for a no-fail outcome.

if this homegrown experience-sharing app doesn't become the next twitter or foursquare (successful forebears on the "we launched at SXSW" scene), they can point to the insurmountable hurdles they faced as the bootstrapped kids fighting "the man" and his $12M of venture funding. and they can rest their laurels on an amazing product they built with their own bare hands. if they succeed, as i eagerly hope they will, they are rudy -- hoisted onto the shoulders of skeptics for their victory lap in the stadium.

it's actually a brilliant strategy. everyone roots for david, and no one blames him if goliath wins. you can count me squarely in david's corner, enthusiastically awaiting the results of this spectacular showdown.

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