RS: I think for the most part, most online startups, it's just about the talent. They have to find people that are willing to take a bit of a pay cut for the hopes that they're going to get some capital growth upside if this company is successful. Finding those types of risk-takers is not easy, but it's certainly easier than it was five, ten years ago when everybody wanted to go to big companies and get a job. So it's really just a matter of mindset trying to find those people. So I think again for the most part it's going to be talent, and then it's things like infrastructure and space and access to technology, like data, making connections, having deep customer connections, and partnership connections and stuff like that. Having the backing of a smart angel or an angel with connections, such as Bing Fund, we can make those things happen very quickly. And they don't have to spend money on that sort of stuff.
DB: I suspect today that the marketing spend is going to be more, just because the marketplace is a lot more crowded than it used to be and it's going to take a lot more effort to get noticed.
RS: I always believe that if you build a really great product that people start to use, there's lots of ways to generate demand based on word of mouth versus going out and spending a ton of money on market awareness. You can build partnerships, you can get users interested and users talk to other users. I mean, really at the end of the day the formula for startups is if they have a good prototype or early stage product and they're solving a big problem, and then they get user acquisition, once they have users and they're solving a big problem that basically equals money. So getting users is really just about solving a problem big enough to gather those users.
DB: So the marketing spend is going to be more in facilitating that word of mouth promotion rather than spending a lot of money on slick magazine ads and television commercials?
RS: That's right. That could always come later but if you recall in early 2000 when the dotcom time was, TV was still a big part of advertising and people were spending all their money on advertising. Pets.com and all the other dotcoms. And that was a massive bubble. And the companies that survived were the ones that actually focused on their product. Look at Amazon. They just did a great job focusing on what they do, and they survived, right? And eBay. They solved a big problem. They were in a blue ocean area. But you know, nowadays you're going to see more startups actually doing more red ocean stuff. And they're going to be in areas where there's already a lot of people. So how do they differentiate themselves, how do they stand out from the competition? And that's where our group can really help them.