Hi to all,
Sorry that I have disappeared for the past several weeks. It’s amazing how much time it takes to launch a website and how quickly time goes by. The last 60 days have been very exciting; we launched Let Simon Decideto the world on May 5th and the site received tons of PR coverage. We were featured on Life Hacker(in the US, Japan, and Germany), Tech Crunch, Mashable, Thrillist, NBC, CNN and many others. We have 1,200 links pointing to our site and tons of Delicious bookmarks favoring our new web 2.0 application. The peak of our PR whirlwind came when Ashton Kutcher (the Punk’d dude) recommended Simon to his 2.7 million followers, check it out here Twitter. That was the day our e-mail servers went down. Over the weekend, the team, including my lovely wife, had to take turns all night long to accept new users manually.
All this media brought us thousands of new users from 145 countries. We have visits and users everywhere from Brazil to Oman and Sri Lanka. I’m amazed at how Simon is helping people with many types of decisions. Our most popular one is “Should I change my career?” (no surprise with the economy these days), followed by various college and major decisions, or “Should I go back to school?” (Simon says, Yes, you will have more fun). In the top ten we have the classic “Should I get a tattoo?” (a very permanent decision by the way--I agree that it is better to think it through carefully). We also have very life-critical ones, like the one from the reporter from Urban Daddy: “Should I wear boxers or briefs?”. (Check it out here Urban Daddy)
Now that the launch party has slowed down and we have created this little monster, I realize that we have reached the point of no return. The website requires constant upgrading and content generation. I’m working with the team on new features, new PR and social media campaigns. BTW, today we launched a new re-design of the entire page, check it out and let me know what you think. Simon has become our two-month-old baby, who requires constant feeding, hardly goes to sleep and when he does manage to doze off he ends up waking up frantically at inhuman European hours. He needs constant monitoring; one of my fears is that someone will use Simon to decide if he should chop his girlfriend into pieces.
I am now focusing more on the sales aspect of the business. Somewhere in our biz plan is a slide that says something about generating revenue (Why is it always the money? Can’t we keep on playing??). Through Ayax Systems Inc., the parent company We are working with colleges, CPG companies and service providers on customized decision making tools, similar to Simon to help consumers, employees, students with many types of decisions. We are also delivering lead generation systems and shopper research (back to the old days) through these tools for some of our customers.
Life continues to be good. I attended a 6 week social media class at UCLA on Tuesdays with my mentor and friend John, (I totally recommend this class to all my marketer friends--it’s the hot new thing!). John and I feel pretty cool walking the campus surrounded by students 100 years younger than us. For them, the whole subject of web 2.0 and social media is like talking about the microwave (a given!), but in reality there are no real experts. All of this technology moves so fast, that by the time you have dominated Facebook, in comes Twitter, and just when you have started feeling cool with your friends using the word Web 2.0, you are already late: “Dude, it’s all about Web 3.0.”
Maybe Simon will grow fast and the baby will become a 3.0 man. I hope so, because he needs to start working to pay his tuition and my daughters’ 6.0 virtual colleges as well.
Have a great weekend!