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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Pennsylvania might as well be in Israel

April 16, 2008

Robert Scoble recently quipped that Israel is too far away from Mike Arrington’s house.  To qualify that headline; Mike Arrington founded TechCrunch, a web site that covers news related to business on the Web mainly in Silicon Valley.

Scoble’s argument is that companies doing really great things in Israel may, or may not be, getting the same type of PR that companies in Silicon Valley are.

I’d argue that you don’t have to run your company on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea in order to see the same effect.  We at Viddler, in my opinion, are doing some really great things, have big plans, and are doing it for far less than our competition.  However we seldom receive any “press” related to some of the moves we’re making.  One could easily argue that this is a good thing and that we can publicly operate in relative stealth mode – but sometimes it hurts more than it helps.

As a for instance: If I was the Technology Evangelist for a video-sharing site based out of Silicon Valley – do you think my post about what Flickr video means to the rest of the industry would have gone relatively unnoticed by the online press?  I doubt it.  Do I think my post should have gone unnoticed? Yes.  Because I didn’t say anything that any one else wasn’t already thinking.  Sometimes the weight of the words written by those in Silicon Valley are held in too high regard, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to us either.

At the end of the day, I believe Viddler can be successful with or without the PR that is generated mainly by “buzz”.  Buzz may indeed help to spread your message (hopefully the right one) but it definitely not a key to sustainability.  Sustainability comes from building a valuable product or service, wisdom in the marketplace, execution of vision, and “picking the low-hanging fruit” instead of leaving it behind.  If you don’t do that, it wouldn’t matter how many posts Mike Arrington writes about your company.