From the Startup Mixology Conference – Rebuild Bootstrap Style

June 17, 2011

10:30 am

As your startup grows into a bona fide company, things will change.  Your product will change, your audience might change, pricing and features will change, and your entire business model could change.   When that happens, you could have to rebuild your company bootstrap style.  As President of GeniusRocket, the first curated creative crowdsourcing company, Peter Lamotte did just that.

For 3 years, GeniusRocket worked with over 15,000 creative artists, from writers to video designers, via contests.  You’d submit spec work, and the client would choose their favorite from all the submissions.  After 3 years, Peter realized they had a flawed model.  Without creative control and curation, the end result isn’t always great for the brand.  Sometimes, it’s downright bad for the brand.  To demonstrate this, he showed 2 video submission for one client.  One video rocked, the other sucked.  The client chose the latter.

This is when the rebuild of the company model began.  Peter and his team decided they love videos the most –  they’re the most fun, and you can’t do it on spec work.  It’s too expensive.  So now they had to focus on sales, marketing, investors.  The crowdsourcing model was changed so brands could get a better product.  The brands choose the concept, storyboard it, the video is filmed, and the production people get paid.

When they went through the rebranding, they did it bootstrap style, harking back to the days when they were a new company.  But the rebuild was worth it, and they are doing awesome.

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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