F***ing and Punching: The Moody Side of Business

Californication

This is a guest post by Dino Dogan.

Californication is a Showtime series starring David Duchovny, aka Fox Mulder, of the X Files fame. And I’m a huge fan.

One of the major plots revolves around David’s character, Hank Moody, inadvertently copulating with a very mature looking 17 year old daughter of Hank’s former wife’s boyfriend. Wow that sounds complicated. Anyways…

During the act, right at the climax, the young lady takes it upon her self to punch Hank, closed fist, right in his nose.

“So you wont forget me” she answered, when he screamed out a befuddled “What the fuck!?”

No matter. Hank got some much-needed inspiration thanks to his nose-to-fist encounter and managed to finish his sophomoric writing effort. The title of which is… Fucking and Punching. Little on the nose, if you ask me.

Pun…intended?

In Hank’s defense, the publisher and the young lady chose that title, but I’m getting ahead of the story.

You see… Hank Moody is a troubled but talented author who was having a hard time following up on his hugely successful writing debut. You know the type.

While Hank was asleep in post-coital bliss, the young lady managed to get a hold of Hank’s script and decided to steal it. This resulted in a book deal for her along with accolades reserved only for talented new arrivals.

What was Hank to do?

Nothing. What could he do? He was stuck between a gorgeous Lady Devil and the deep blue sea. Between a rock and a hard place. Between a pickle and a jar. Between a… let me stop with the similes, I’m not the writer here, Hank is.

How many times does this happen in business?

How many times does someone have an idea, as well as the execution, only to have someone else come in and punch them in the nose?

A lot!

  • First there was Coke, then came Pepsi. And let’s face it. It’s basically the same drink.
  • First there was Vark.com, and then 3 years later came Quora. But because Mark Zuckenburg is behind Quora, everyone is jumping on that bandwagon. What a shitty service that Quora is btw.
  • First there was Klout, then came PeerIndex, and then came Empire Avenue.
  • First there was Friendster, then came myspace, and then came Facebook.

First there was Triberr, then came…?

Triberr was an idea that came to me in a dream-like haze while trying to fall asleep. Once it clicked, I couldn’t bat an eye. I stayed up all night developing the concept in my head. The very next day I got in touch with Dan Cristo.

Triberr - The Reach Multiplier

I met Dan when he commented on one of my posts for Social Media Examiner. Then we did a few podcasts together on SEO and the future of search, Facebook and all manner of other nonsense. Good times.

So I knew Dan and I got along really well. And I knew Dan has a good handle on coding. After all, he developed several very cool sites, like Fluttrs and Ressimo.

So the idea came to me on a Wednesday night, and the following Saturday, Dan and I were sitting at a coffee shop sketching out what Triberr would look like.

Speed Daemon of Implementation

I don’t know how Dan does it. That very night Dan had already put together a rudimentary version of what is today Triberr.

Of course, it was only the wires and the supporting walls -we were still at the early stages- but the lay out was all there and not that different from the way Triberr looks today. About one week later, we were testing the core functionality.

When we saw -for the first time- that my blog posts were going out of Dan’s Twitter account and vice versa, we couldn’t believe we pulled it off.

Two weeks later, we opened doors to pre-beta testers and allowed up to 7 bloggers per tribe.

I have to pause the story here and thank the early adopters. Without them, Triberr wouldn’t be the service it is today.

With the core group like that, Triberr has received the kind of credibility and social proof that can’t be bought with money. And so to all early adopters and new arrivals, I thank you.

Big Fat Copy Cat

It’s only a matter of time before someone comes along and rips off the idea of Triberr.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that the idea of tribes is original. Tribes have existed from the dawn of our species.

And I’m not saying that the idea of retweet clubs is all that original either.

But! The idea that a band of bloggers would trust one another to automagically post to each other’s Twitter stream is entirely new and unique to Triberr. And not as a one-time deal, but as the basis for something long-term, meaningful and mutually beneficial for everyone involved (including followers.)

  • So, who will step in and be the next one to deploy a copycat service?
  • Will they be successful?
  • What would they have to do in order to be the real competition to Triberr?

How is Triberr protecting itself against the big fat pussy?

SONY created the first portable music delivery system. They called it the Walkman. They did it without spending money on market research, product testing or Return on Investment analysis.

The day before the launch of Walkman, there was no market for portable music players. The day after, the entire world couldn’t live without a Walkman.

Sure, nowadays, we use our iPods, but SONY was first to the market. First to the market, yet replaced.

Will the same thing happen to Triberr?

I hope not. And here is how we’re making sure it doesn’t happen:

Protection

One:

From the very first piece of code, every single feature has had to answer one question. How will this help a blogger? If the answer is not convincing, it doesn’t get implemented.

This alone creates an obstacle for someone else to enter the market because in order to effectively compete, they would have to focus on that as well, rather than on “how do we make money with this?”

My personal commitment and promise is that Triberr will ALWAYS put the needs of bloggers above all.

Two:

We are first to the market. The copycat will have to live with that knowledge and stigma attached with the knowing that you ain’t nothing but a sloppy second.

This is an important distinction for people in the know. But it’s a vast world out there and I don’t know that too many would be able to tell –or care to tell- the difference.

It’s a small obstacle to entry I’ll grant you, but an obstacle nonetheless.

Three:

When you are invited to Triberr, you’re not signing up for a soulless, faceless web app. You are getting a direct access line to the founders and coders of the platform.

So the previous obstacle wasn’t a mountain to overcome, but coupled with this one, I think it creates a strong wind of resistance. Why?

Copycats know they are copycats. They would have to put their face in front of their product to compete effectively. I say this under the assumption that most people want to deal with people. And most money-driven, soul sucking, rip-offs, aren’t looking to put their credibility and reputation on the line under the circumstances.

Four:

We are sooo fast. Dan is a speed daemon when it comes to answering the development needs of Triberr community. And they request new features on daily basis.

For example. Danny Brown had decided to implement “many small tribes” strategy and expressed his desire to leave the very first (and very large) tribe he himself created. So what does Dan do?

That SAME day, Dan had built a feature that allows Chiefs to transfer the control of their tribe onto another member of the tribe. How fucking cool is that?

So any competition would have to be extremely responsive, approachable and would have to deliver in a big way. And lemme tell you folks…there are easier ways to make money.

Five:

Dan is the guts, I am the brain. Dan and I feel that it is our unique backgrounds that enabled us to create Triberr. He is an amazingly fast and resourceful developer, and I have the deep insight into what bloggers need because I am a blogger. Sure, there is overlap, but we make for a pretty perfect Venn Diagram.

Six:

We have a secret Ace up our sleeve. Well…I’m not gonna tell you what it is, but we got one. Good luck, copy pussies.

Triberr Community

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Companies pay good money for the type of feedback that we get. I LOVE The Triberr community.

The initial coverage of Triberr was nothing short of amazing. We had received so much press and so fast, its makes us grateful and humbled by the attention.

Here is a short list of early supporters:

But that doesn’t mean all the press we got was good.

We loved getting the bad press almost as much as good. As a direct result of the issues raised in these articles, we’ve implemented a Manual Mode, Explicit Content setting, ability to remove tweets from the Cue, etc.

The Moody Side of Business

Hank eventually ended up in court winning the rights to his book. He also ended up in court for statutory rape.

The same fate happened to Vinklevoss brothers as they settled their lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg for a lofty sum of $65 million in 2008, only to feel like they got raped (statutorily?) when the judge refused to re-open the case of Vinklevoss Vs. Facebook.

Will similar fate befall Triberr? Will the Lady Devil come along and steal our idea? Will we get Vinklevossed?

  • Has something similar ever happened to you?
  • What did you learn from it?
  • How are you making sure it doesn’t happen again?

Dino DoganAbout the Author: Dino Dogan is the founder of Triberr. Lousy Mixed Martial Artist and a recovering Network Engineer. Pretty good singer/songwriter, trainer of dogs, and a blogger of biz. Fun at parties and a global force for badassery. Follow on Twitter at @dino_dogan.

image: Glamhag

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