Ego Capital: The Currency of Today’s Successful Startup

January 28 2006 – 02:10pm

Ego Capital
Value to a user coming in any of a variety of forms, including personal effort, alterations to sense of self and personal worth, or social connections. A user is unlikely to invest Ego Capital if the return is likely to be a loss.

The startups of the late 90’s had the right idea in giving so many things away for “free”, but what they didn’t seem to understand was that if you give your users something, you should in turn get them to do something for you.

del.icio.us
Give your users a way to organize their bookmarks in a loose manner, in a repository where they can access those bookmarks from whereever they have internet access, and they will provide you with a directory that indicates what sites on the web are most important in any given category.
mySpace
Give your users a way to interact with their friends in a dynamic way, open to be discovered by all of the world, and they will provide you with massive traffic that advertisers will clamor for a spot in, as well as personal data useful for marketing.
Google
Give your users an incredibly intelligent search algorithm, and webmasters the world over will develop their websites with this algorithm foremost in mind. Give traffic to the most relevant sites, and they will work hard to create sites with quality content that you can serve relevant ads next to.
Upcoming.org
Give users a way to organize, subscribe to, and share their own calendar, and they will provide you with a directory of all of the events occuring, categorized, and clumped together in categories of interest.

Seeing a pattern here? You give them something, but while they are utilizing that something, they are doing something for you. The internet allows for leveraging the labor of the masses, but they won’t do that work for you for “free.”

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This post is filed under Technology.