Yesterday, we debuted Part I of Startup Sherpa, a new show with angel investor (Founder Collective) and Hunch founder Chris Dixon talking to Stickybits CEO Billy Chasen about when is the right time for a startup to pivot.
Today, in Part II above, Dixon and Chasen discuss how startups can serve two different masters (in Stickybits’ case, consumers and advertisers). With consumer mobile apps there is always a tension between pleasing advertisers and driving away users. It is a delicate balance.
Stickybits is an iPhone app which encourages you to check into products by scanning their barcodes. Originally, the idea behind Stickybits was broader and encouraged consumers to attach their own barcodes to objects and places, and use the app to upload photos, videos and messages which others can unlock by scanning the code. The app still does that, but the company recently pivoted to focus more on existing product barcodes and get brands to drive adoption through incentives and rewards.
Another challenge Stickybits faces is trying to get consumers to change their behavior. Scanning product barcodes is an unnatural act for most people, unless you are a grocery store cashier. But trying to change consumer behavior is a common problem many startups face. The key is to make it worth their while for consumers to do what your product asks of them, as Chasen and Dixon discuss in the video below.
Startup Sherpa is more a conversation between founders that we get to listen in on than a typical interview conducted by a TechCrunch journalist. Tell us who you would like to see Dixon talk to next in comments below.
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...
Billy Chasen is the Co-founder of Turntable.fm. Before Turntable.fm., Billy Chasen was the Founder and CEO stickybits.com. Prior to stickybits, Chasen was on the founding team of betaworks, where he created chartbeat.com, a real-time analytics service and firef.ly, a chat service. Chasen has a B.S. in computer science from the University of Michigan. His art website is located at billychasen.com and his blog is anerroroccurredwhileprocessingthisdirective.com
stickybits is the first social object network, connecting the digital and physical worlds. each stickybit is a unique barcode than can be scanned by iPhone or Android devices and then augmented with user generated content. Users can be notified when their codes are scanned, augmented or moved by other people. The company’s first product is a beautifully designed pack of stickers that can be purchased on amazon.com. Users can also choose to print out their own codes at home...