Simon Willison’s Weblog


15 items tagged “marketing”


Reasons Why I Think 50% Coding 50% Marketing is the Best Framework for Solo Tech Founders (via) Jon Yongfook offers a deliciously simple recipe for splitting up the work of both developing and marketing a product: one week of development, then one week of marketing, then repeat. I really like this concept: I mix the two activities randomly at the moment and constantly find myself feeling guilty that I’m not spending enough focused time on either of them! # 8th October 2022, 3:43 pm


Launch HN Instructions (via) The instructions for YC companies that are posting their launch announcement on Hacker News are really interesting to read. “As founders, you’re used to talking to users, customers, and investors. HN readers are not any of those—what they are is peers, and using any of those styles with peers feels clueless and entitled. [...] To interest HN, write in a factual, personal, and modest way about what problem you solve, why it matters, how you solve it, and how you got there.” # 19th July 2021, 1:05 am


Potential new elevator pitch / tagline for Datasette: The best way to publish data online (via) One of the biggest challenges I’ve had with Datasette is compressing it into a single elevator pitch or tagline that helps answer the question “what does this software do?”—the project does a lot of different things, so finding the right angle for explaining it has proved really difficult. I’m workshopping a new tagline over on the Datasette discussion forum—feedback, suggestions and challenges very welcome! # 4th October 2020, 12:03 am


It’s Not a Feature Problem—Avoiding Startup Tarpits (via) “When we turned on paid advertising for the first time the increase we had a sizable increase in signups. We always feared that a new user would just churn because of what we perceived as deficiencies in the product. While there were users who churned for that reason, it was never the nightmare scenario that we imagined.” # 22nd October 2017, 12:53 pm


What are some good examples of tweets used to attract visitors to a new website?

Without knowing what the site does, I’d go for the personal approach: "I just launched my new project,—check it out and let me know what you think!"

[... 52 words]

What are some creative ways to pitch a new initiative to my team without slides?

Use a whiteboard.

[... 24 words]

What are some interesting and unusual tactics to draw people to your booth at a large conference or convention?

Make sure you have people on the stand who know their stuff—ideally people who built the thing you are promoting. Make it worthwhile for people to come and talk to you. Don’t have booth babes who are there for their looks rather than their expertise.

[... 129 words]


What are the best events search engines?

Since I co-founded one I’m certainly not qualified to express an opinion on which ones are best, but here are a few of my favourites:

[... 233 words]


What are some good social media events that will take place in 2011 in Middle East and North Africa region?

User StartupDigestME on Lanyrd follows entrepreneurship events in the region which may also cover social media topics:

[... 45 words]

How do you find out about events in Birmingham, UK?

We have a page of events in Birmingham on Lanryd:

[... 54 words]


How Companies Pay Artists to Include Brands in Lyrics. “We just feel that if it’s a product that’s admired by the artist and fits his/her image, we now have the capability of leveling out the playing field and making things financially beneficial for all parties involved.” Charming. # 20th September 2008, 12:16 pm

The law behind “tell a friend” services. Useful guide based on UK law, updated in July 2008. # 28th July 2008, 10:49 am

“Digital Manners Policies” is a marketing term. Let’s call this what it really is: Selective Device Jamming. It’s not polite, it’s dangerous. It won’t make anyone more secure—or more polite.

Bruce Schneier # 1st July 2008, 2:51 pm

Lessons from mySociety conversion tracking. Neat trick: show the user a “subscribe” form with their e-mail address pre-filled for them and there’s a much higher chance that they’ll click the button. # 17th March 2008, 2:12 am


Which is the real explanation of where the name XMLHTTP comes from- the thing is mostly about HTTP and doesn’t have any specific tie to XML other than that was the easiest excuse for shipping it so I needed to cram XML into the name (plus- XML was the hot technology at the time and it seemed like some good marketing for the component).

Alex Hopmann # 24th January 2007, 8:48 pm