Why we stopped raising until we no longer need the money

Note: This now has a follow up post about how we successfully raised our seed round.

There’s a well known mantra in the startup world that I used to believe in – “Launch early”. The concept is to launch a minimal product (MVP in lean startup terms), get real world feedback and iterate quickly.

Feedback and iterations are great and will improve your product to no ends. However, this is bad advice if you intend to raise outside funding (VC in particular). Let me explain by relating to my personal experience:

Me and my co-founder Adam launched Binpress in the beginning of 2011. We are experienced product guys, so we had no problems launching a polished product without funding. Building web products is what we’ve been doing for a long time. Our thinking was that building and launching a product, getting some users and some revenue will put us in a better position when we would like to raise capital.

(For a quick summary, you can skip to the TL;DR at the end)
Continue reading Why we stopped raising until we no longer need the money

Don’t Mix Business And Personal – Why Facebook Comments Is A Bad Idea For Your Site

I like to leave comments on articles and blog posts I find interesting, and interact with the author. However, if the only option to leave a comment is through Facebook comments, I probably won’t use it for the following reasons:

  • My professional persona is separate from my personal persona. I don’t want my friends and family reading my comments on “How To Make A Two-Sided Business, One-Sided”. It’s not relevant for them, and I’d like to keep my feed clean of those messages.
  • I don’t want people I interact with for business / professional reasons to view or connect to my Facebook profile. I have a linkedIn profile for those purposes.
  • I have no idea if the author is notified when I post using Facebook comments. One of the main reasons I comment on an article is to start a conversation with the author on the subject. If I can’t tell if he’s even notified, I probably won’t bother.

I understand why people think adding Facebook comments will help drive traffic to their site. Perhaps in some contexts it makes sense, but if you were wondering why no one is commenting on your articles, consider if better engaging your readers is more important to you than polluting their social feed. Also – visitors might not even have a Facebook account, or they are not logged-in at the moment. Don’t make this a barrier for engagement.

If people do feel they want to share your article on Facebook, use social sharing buttons, like the ones you see on this blog. Don’t force commenting and sharing as a bundle package to readers.

Edit:

After reading and responding to the comments below, I understand it was not completely clear what my stance is. First, I’d like to make it clear I have nothing against Facebook, or its comment widget. I was questioning the appropriateness of having the comment widget on sites / blogs where I read for professional reasons, and would like to keep it separate from my personal Facebook profile.

Keep it separate doesn’t mean just that my friends on Facebook will read it, but also whether other readers of the blog will have access to my Facebook profile, which I’d rather avoid.

In addition, I was writing the post from the viewpoint of a site visitor who’s been frustrated by having no recourse other than using Facebook comments – not from the viewpoint of the publisher. Content publishers have their own objectives which might not align with mine, and it might be perfectly fine with them that I don’t leave a comment on their site. There’s nothing wrong with that.

To sum it up – if you care about people who want a separation between their Facebook profiles and their professional reading, you should think twice about using Facebook comments in your site.