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This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who is Your Front Man??

…and by front man, I’m obviously being gender inclusive. Here are a few expressions that I most definitely always consider gender inclusive and/or gender neutral.

“You’re the Man” and “You’ve Got Balls” I’m always a fan of hearing “Ann, you have bigger balls than me” (Just making sure if not being politically correct, I’m at least explaining myself)

So, who is your front man? If you are in the process of starting a web 2.0 start-up that’s a question you best be asking yourself and answering. And P.S., I’m not just talking about who is presenting to investors, running the team and talking to corporate partners. I’m referring to—Who is your public front man.

Web 2.0 companies are filled with user generated features and information, and packed with user interactivity and collaboration, but what’s your glue, idea generator/mixer, the key to spreading your message (assuming you have a message) and source of commonality (for or against…if everyone hates you, they are uniting around that!). This is particularly important for social and online community type of companies…this is how and why many communities are developing around a cause and/or a niche.

Ideally, your front man is the founder and CEO…because he or she are the breath, heart and soul of the company. The founders and CEOs are normally who people, consumers and followers will want to know and learn about and hear from.

Your front man needs to have personality (for good or for bad…preferably an extrovert and very outgoing), passion, possess some likeability factors; be presentable in public, and respectable. Extra bonus point if your front man can easily transcend across genders, age groups, ethnicities, all backgrounds etc.

Case in point, Kevin Rose…awesome front man. People pay attention to what he’s doing and what he has to say. Some girls have a crush on him, some guys want to be him, some people dislike him, a handful hate him, and some don’t care…but, everyone pretty much knows about him.

Kevin was never in the shadows…he played up his role as the front man to Digg, before Digg became what it is today and therefore played a big part in getting Digg to what it is today.

On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg, never took an active role in being the front man of Facebook. The media coverage is what exposed Mark as the front man of Facebook and he is a passive and boring front man…others have stepped up and have become sub-front man via their Facebook blogs for Mark.

So on that point…your front man needs to be active in their role as the front man from day one or really pre-day one. Don’t wait for the media to uncover you or for your PR team to get you an audience. Go find and create your audience…set yourself up. They are plenty of ways to do that…if you don’t know how, then frankly, you probably need to rethink your chosen path or find a real good front man to partner up with.


Erik said...

It helps that Kevin already had a TV show before he launched Digg.

Ann Bernard said...

Seems to be the general consensus from the folks on Pownce too...but, he still planted himself where he needed to be.

He might not have planned it that way, but nothing stops anyone from planning things ahead and using what works!!

David said...

Actually, when Digg first started he hid his involvement with it. He didn't want it to be just the TechTV audience that used it and wanted to it to grow naturally. And I might be wrong but I believe that part of this was financial also because when Digg first launched in 2004 they didn't have the servers to handle a large influx of people.