And the Problem Is (a Startup Pitch)

Dave McClure hung out at Startup Weekend SF last weekend.  After listening to a few pitches, Dave grabbed the mic and reminded the audience that you don’t pitch a solution, you pitch the problem.  Sometimes the perfect pitch is a) sell the problem b) buzzword and c) a small idea of a solution.

I’ve taken this to heart and put up a ‘problems’ page at Startup Weekend where you can log problems you have and encourage people to build solutions.


a) Problem: the web lacks quality or positive user interaction in a mainstream usecase. Most bloggers don’t get a single comment, even on quality posts while quite a few commenters are greated by flame wars and annonomus attacks.  Many startups fail to get off the ground because they can’t attract a first group of users.


  • Rants and Raves is 95% Flames or Negitive Rants
  • There is little reward for positive interaction
  • Commenting systems like Discus or Intense Debate are looking to build reputation, but I have not come accross groups looking to gain these points
  • Few sites have really build communities that don’t get annihilated by a culture they didn’t set out to see
  • Most comments on YouTube (one of the largest commented sites out there) are flamewars and hatemail, with no reward for positive engadgement
  • Most bloggers stop blogging because they feel nobody is listening.

b) Git, rails, gradient, open source, viral user lead campaign.

c) Build a community that encourages positive and quality engagement and bounces around the net.

I think it would do a world of good for startups, bloggers, and the people that use and read them.

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