Startup Sherpa: Serving Two Masters And Changing Consumer Behavior (Part II)

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.