Prepare for the setbacks of good press
Founder of Sension, Innovator, PayNearMe Mobile Software Engineer
PR makes people frame you in a box and put you on a watch-list.
People respond to PR differently in Silicon Valley, than in other places throughout the world.
Having too much PR increases the public’s expectations of your company.
Lesson: How to Get Press with Ari Dyckovsky & Catalin Voss
Step #9 Setbacks: Prepare for the setbacks of good press
Catalin: I think, yes, there are typically setbacks to PR. I think the biggest one is that people frame you in a box and they put you on a watch list, but they now get this idea of what it is you're working on. It's usually that specific thing. They associate it with the article.
They also sometime assume that if you're out there talking about something that you plan to fully develop, that it's done and finished. In our case, yeah, we built a prototype for a Google Glass app that could help kids with autism recognize facial expressions. It didn’t mean it was clinically tested and approved. It was just a prototype, but it now meant that there's a lot of people who expect to buy this at the store tomorrow, which is great in a way because it puts some pressure on you to make it work better. It obviously also comes with the time commitment of having to deal with all that inbound, so a new point to my previous point, which is the fact that people frame you into this. I think that's much more prevalent in cultures other than Silicon Valley. Out here it's Hollywood. Here you can launch an article about this Y Combinator thing you're doing on one day on TechCrunch and if people don't subscribe to your mailing list, then a week later and the exact same publication you talk about something completely different and people go, “Yeah, cool, a new startup.” In countries like Germany, you're held accountable to what you say and I think globally that's much more true. It takes a lot longer for that image to potentially get out of people's heads if you would've wanted to. So it ties you down in a way.
Ari: So one of the problems that Clinkle had was that they created so much buzz in the Valley that everyone was expecting them to come out with a product very quickly. They created that buzz so early on that the expectation from the Valley was not only to make a great product quickly, but to make it even better than expected. So over time they increased the pressure on themselves and it was very hard to perform under that pressure.
One of the things that does to a small company like that is it makes you grow faster than you can. I don't know particularly Clinkle's internal problems, but I do know to the outside world it looks as if they haven't created anything, even if they are working hard only because the media has turned it that way. So that's definitely a negative effect of having too much PR too early.