Don’t pin your hopes on hype
If you’re a young tech startup wondering why the press won’t give you any coverage, ask this: do you need any coverage?
Just look at Pinterest – it keeps well away from the Silicon Valley hype machine and focus on slow, steady, growth. But with 250 million monthly active users and being on track to exceed $700m revenue this year (up 50% on last year), it’s (as described by The New York Times
) “a unicorn (that) just doesn’t act like one.”
Pinterest is now something of a household name that runs TV ads, so you could argue they don’t need press. But I didn’t read a single article about them until they were already a decent-sized startup, a few years ago. They grew without hype, and have continued to grow the same way.
Being based in the North of England, I’ve long been frustrated that many of the region’s biggest and most successful tech companies don’t shout about their achievements more.
As someone who wants to see the region’s tech sector grow and become better recognised, it seriously annoys me that London companies with flashy smiles and good stories get more coverage, even if their underlying business isn’t very strong.
Just look at the companies of Tech Nation’s Northern Tech 100
list – barely a well-known name among them. That wouldn’t likely be the case if they were in London.
I’ll maintain that these companies should shout more, if only to help attract more talent to the region. But from a founder’s point of view, it’s a reminder that there are great companies built all over the place, and as Pinterest shows, hype is no substitute for true success.