17 Lessons Learned from the Tapulous CEO

Bart Decrem Tapuluos

Bart Decrem Tapuluos

Happy Thursday! Lately I’ve been tweeting about some of the exciting new launches, new technologies, new approaches to social campaigns, trends in VC funding and M&A, etc.

No doubt cool stuff.

I also managed to catch Robert Scoble’s interview with Bart Decrem founder and CEO of Tapulous. I’m glad I did because Bart reminded me of several lessons that make a startup successful and he taught me a few new ones that apply to the social economy.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

1) Make a game changing bet.

2) Be there first.

3) Give it away free.

4) Riff off of a similar big trend.

5) Use the uniqueness of the platform and make something special.

6) Show your love of the platform.

7) Doing 5 & 6 will get the attention of bloggers and folks on twitter — which will generate that viral buzz.

8) Fans will understand that what you’ve built is special and they will want to have it.

9) Be true to the community.

10) Individuals in the community will build the buzz.

11) Create something you want to show your friends and/or will make other people ask, “What are you doing?”

12) Update fans on support issues being addressed —
use support forums, facebook, and twitter.

13) Give your fans a HQ with a guest-book and give away free schwag.

14) Work with the best.

15) Do another free release.

16) Do a paid release.

17) Do another related title.


3 Fresh Announcements Ease Mobile Web Engagement and Conversions

Enabling Opportunity

In spite of the ongoing economic woes, this is an exciting time for emerging technologies. The mobile web continues its rapid growth with women, teens, and seniors embracing this technology as it continues its march toward the mainstream.

Not surprisingly, some of the web’s best tools are being re-spun for the mobile web making it easier than ever to reach, engage, and convert an audience into customer and prospects.

Optimize, Streamline, and Integrate

1)  Just yesterday, Google announced AdSense for Mobile Content which optimizes its highly successful AdSense program for the mobile web.

2)  Not one to miss an opportunity, Adobe announced Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices streamlining the way developers enable Flash content for a mobile audience.

3)  Likewise, Amazon announced its Mobile Payments Service making integration easier not only for mobile web content but also for mobile applications. It’s now possible to have Amazon’s famous 1-click purchasing embedded within a mobile app.

Extend and Enhance

The time is right to extend and enhance your current offerings in the mobile space. Learn more about these new tools. Start a project. Increase your reach, deepen the emotional engagement with your brand, generate more sales and more advertising revenue. What was that nonsense about economic woes?

Let me know how these announcements will impact your plans.

How to Connect and Convert Interest in Action

cb-2009-tf_coverLast week, while I was enhancing my twitter network, I saw a tweet in my newly updated Seesmic desktop app about an up-coming book called twittfaced by Social Media Consultant Jacob Morgan and his co-author Josh Peters.

The subtitle of their book is your toolkit for understanding and maximizing social media — a couple topics that resonate with me these days.

We can also expect a forward and intro from Brian Solis and Chris Brogan respectively. Additionally, since no conversation on maximizing Social Media would be complete these days without Olivier Blanchard — Jacob and Josh deliver a bonus Q&A with thebrandbuilder himself.

Clearly I’m looking forward to the release of twittfaced and I shared my enthusiasm with the twitterverse.

Immediately afterwards Jacob reached out personally just to connect with a new fan. Amazing! What a great way to quickly turn my interest into action. That would never have happened so rapidly if not for the real-time nature of the twittstream.

In the days before twitter I might have heard about his book in a blog post somewhere and even clicked-through to Amazon, checked out a few pages, seen its rating, read a couple reviews, etc. But now because of my direct interaction with one of the authors, I’m creating a blog post about my experience and I really want to see Jacob and Josh achieve success with their new book.

So, connect with your users. Reply to their comments on your blog. Engage them with an @reply on twitter. Promote their successes on your blog. Turn their interest into action –a personal investment in your success– and do it faster and with more reach than ever before. In the end, we all win when we help one another other achieve success.

Assess and Maximize the Business Value of your Social Media ROI

There has been quite a bit of chatter lately about social media ROI – and justifiably so. Business cannot afford to do otherwise especially in this challenging economic climate.

Much has been written about best practices and Olivier Blanchard deserves much of the credit for championing this important cause and sharing his excellent work on this topic.

A recurring theme that business folks and social media practitioners alike sometimes experience is that they are not certain how to demonstrate how the increasing number of twitter followers, blog commenters, site visitors, translates into sales. In spite of the pace and demands of business today this critical element cannot be forgotten. Especially, as budgets continue to be scrutinized. 

While Olivier’s presentation discusses both controlling costs it eventually goes deeper into measuring ROI from a sales growth perspective – and it is wonderful! Who doesn’t like sales growth? Sales grow is exciting.

That said, I would suggest that every dollar invested and efficiently spent can therefore produce maximum ROI. ROI that strives to put the most money back on the bottom line.  Controlling your costs while growing your sales can really maximize your ROI. That is exceedingly exciting!

Consider starting with an assessment of your current efforts. Which ones are working particularly well? Where they fall short of expectations? Can you attempt to improve results by trying different tactics? If your adjustments still fail to make a business impact, consider investing more dollars in initiatives that are producing success — sometimes called doubling down. Also, consider letting some of the unproductive dollars be returned to the business for additional leverage elsewhere like new product development or improving the user experience. Other option is to simply “return” the dollars to the bottom line and possibly that all important bonus pool.

Creating a cost advantage also provides your business with a potential strategic competitive advantage too. Consider offering the product at a lower price point to increase your share of the market or even a limited time promotional discount to attract even more net new customers.

Like pruning back the plants in your garden, you will amplify the growth potential of your Social Media efforts, save time and money by discontinuing unproductive activities and achieving the maximum ROI. You and you team will look smarter than ever and that can only improve your lot come bonus time!

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences too.


This ComputerWorld article was in play while I was heads-down.  I’ll bet there are others too!

How to be a (Great) Participant in the World of Social Media


I am starting a blog about social media.  I bet I’m not alone.  Lots of people are interested in this field.   How can one stand out above the noise and differentiate his or her voice from all the others?  How can one effectively leverage the ever-growing array of tools (i.e. Google, blogs, social networks, twitter, etc.) and techniques?

In my efforts to answer these questions I have been reading an e-book titled Brink – A Social Media Guide from the Edge.  In it, author and practitioner Todd Defren recommends that one, “Listen.  Think.  Listen.  Act.  (Slowly.)”

“Listening” means to understand who is saying what about one’s industry, brand, product, service, etc.  This includes “hearing” the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

Over the next several weeks and months, I will further explore how to have an effective voice in this conversation and look at the tools (and techniques) of the trade.

I would love to hear what you have to say!