How to be a stealth site

Let’s say you want to introduce your product on a certain date. Say on Monday because you are demonstrating your product at Demo or TC50. Well, you aren’t allowed to show off the product, right? So, what do you do?

Well, look at Causecast’s site.

This is done pretty darn well.

What did they do?

1. It’s an attractive page.
2. It explains a bit about what’s coming. Compare to Usable.com, which is launching at Demo.
3. It asks you to join and makes an implicit promise to keep you connected.
4. It gives a way for potential business partners (and others like press) to get more info.

Clean, leaves a good first impression, and promises more info to come soon.

Anyone have a better example?

Comments

  1. Congrats Scoble, you finally F’ing woke up somewhat..

    Satire is a form of information and that is why even the lamest attempts at it do not get people banned for me following in some form to get information.

    Atire also has its use in presenting start ups to the public. As Satire is usually the highest response getter if you make every effort to master the satire delivery. I f you look at how Loic uses satire in his presentation of Seesmic to the public you get the idea.

    Her is to hoping that you continue to use your brain rather than knee jerk reactions, especially the one that got you caught up in a MS is buying Mahalo.com rumor several months ago..:)

  2. Congrats Scoble, you finally F’ing woke up somewhat..

    Satire is a form of information and that is why even the lamest attempts at it do not get people banned for me following in some form to get information.

    Atire also has its use in presenting start ups to the public. As Satire is usually the highest response getter if you make every effort to master the satire delivery. I f you look at how Loic uses satire in his presentation of Seesmic to the public you get the idea.

    Her is to hoping that you continue to use your brain rather than knee jerk reactions, especially the one that got you caught up in a MS is buying Mahalo.com rumor several months ago..:)

  3. Pretty good, but I still give it a B+ from a technical standpoint.

    Click in a box… now.. what was I supposed to put here?

    The form has a major usability issue.

    Now about usable’s site.. yeah, a nice tag line or something basic would be good.

    Neither of them have a privacy policy, yet want you to turn over information,. =/

  4. Pretty good, but I still give it a B+ from a technical standpoint.

    Click in a box… now.. what was I supposed to put here?

    The form has a major usability issue.

    Now about usable’s site.. yeah, a nice tag line or something basic would be good.

    Neither of them have a privacy policy, yet want you to turn over information,. =/

  5. Mike what is your reason for being “stealth”?

    What you are doing (it seems to me) is saying you have an exciting new product being developed, but it’s not ready yet, however, you’re starting to get the word out and want to know if people want to be informed. If you want them to click to sign up, give them REASONS to do so. Tell them what Contribune will do for them… what WILL your site/product provide, when it’s launched? Give people a taste of something delicious while you’re still cooking it, and they will come back with their tongues hanging out, to try your dish when it’s done.

    Okay, now I’m getting corny, but I hope you see what I mean. There is a difference between launching a product and promoting it… maybe it’s hard to understand, but they are distinct. And going stealth should in my opinion, be done only by people who already have an audience.

    If none of this helps, try just filling in the blanks in this sentence: “Contribune will do (BLAH) and (BLAH) so you can (BLAH)! And that means (BLAH!)” That should give you a place to start. :-)

  6. Mike what is your reason for being “stealth”?

    What you are doing (it seems to me) is saying you have an exciting new product being developed, but it’s not ready yet, however, you’re starting to get the word out and want to know if people want to be informed. If you want them to click to sign up, give them REASONS to do so. Tell them what Contribune will do for them… what WILL your site/product provide, when it’s launched? Give people a taste of something delicious while you’re still cooking it, and they will come back with their tongues hanging out, to try your dish when it’s done.

    Okay, now I’m getting corny, but I hope you see what I mean. There is a difference between launching a product and promoting it… maybe it’s hard to understand, but they are distinct. And going stealth should in my opinion, be done only by people who already have an audience.

    If none of this helps, try just filling in the blanks in this sentence: “Contribune will do (BLAH) and (BLAH) so you can (BLAH)! And that means (BLAH!)” That should give you a place to start. :-)

  7. The Causecast page is very good. I think I could learn a thing or two from them.

    Kris, your thoughts are reasonable, but I think there is another segment you aren’t considering. Currently, I don’t expect people who stumble upon the site to sign up, since there isn’t really any information. I don’t expect you to sign up, for instance, because, as you’ve pointed out, we haven’t made a pitch to you with the site.

    But we have been conducting some public demonstrations and we are beginning to talk up the site at some local tech events. So, for most people who go to the page, they’re already heard the pitch. Since testing is still in the early to mid stage, I’m only really sending invites to people with whom I’ve had direct contact already, anyway.

  8. The Causecast page is very good. I think I could learn a thing or two from them.

    Kris, your thoughts are reasonable, but I think there is another segment you aren’t considering. Currently, I don’t expect people who stumble upon the site to sign up, since there isn’t really any information. I don’t expect you to sign up, for instance, because, as you’ve pointed out, we haven’t made a pitch to you with the site.

    But we have been conducting some public demonstrations and we are beginning to talk up the site at some local tech events. So, for most people who go to the page, they’re already heard the pitch. Since testing is still in the early to mid stage, I’m only really sending invites to people with whom I’ve had direct contact already, anyway.

  9. How about Neighborsville.com? We are launching pretty soon and this site has been used pretty much for a private alpha. We have a sigin form for current users, a line describing what we do, a form to sign up for the launch and a blog to keep in touch. What do you think?

  10. How about Neighborsville.com? We are launching pretty soon and this site has been used pretty much for a private alpha. We have a sigin form for current users, a line describing what we do, a form to sign up for the launch and a blog to keep in touch. What do you think?

  11. Mike, that makes sense – putting it out here the way you did, I could only assume your audience for that url was “anyone.”

    Neighborsville.com form page is nice, but I am assuming you aren’t needing people who stumble on it to know more also. To me, both of these are just a bit too brief – in both cases, I am intrigued by what you’re doing, but have no way of knowing more without signing up and waiting to see what happens next. I guess I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to offer a smidge more info for the random passer-by, or referral from a friend who has NOT personally spoken to you yet. Jonathan, for example, I had to drill into your blog to get the best info of all:

    “There’s a lot going on in your neighborhood. People are going to baseball games and neighborhood association meetings, arranging play dates at the park, planning block parties and barbeques, holding garage sales, talking about whether there should be a new stop sign on the corner, and trying the new Mexican restaurant that just opened up.

    But how do you know what’s happening this weekend? Is the new Mexican place worth going to? Which drywaller should you hire to fix the hole that your three year old made in the living room wall? What do your neighbors think about the city council decision on the new parking lot from last week?

    Neighborsville connects you with your neighbors so you know what’s going on in your neighborhood. We’re building a safe and friendly place for you to meet your neighbors because when you want to know what’s going on in your neighborhood, we think that your neighbors are the best place to turn.”

    That actually does sound cool – I’d hate for people who find the cutely named url on their own somehow not to be given that fun pitch. Maybe it’s just me though! No one else seems to be complaining about this as much. ;-)

  12. Mike, that makes sense – putting it out here the way you did, I could only assume your audience for that url was “anyone.”

    Neighborsville.com form page is nice, but I am assuming you aren’t needing people who stumble on it to know more also. To me, both of these are just a bit too brief – in both cases, I am intrigued by what you’re doing, but have no way of knowing more without signing up and waiting to see what happens next. I guess I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to offer a smidge more info for the random passer-by, or referral from a friend who has NOT personally spoken to you yet. Jonathan, for example, I had to drill into your blog to get the best info of all:

    “There’s a lot going on in your neighborhood. People are going to baseball games and neighborhood association meetings, arranging play dates at the park, planning block parties and barbeques, holding garage sales, talking about whether there should be a new stop sign on the corner, and trying the new Mexican restaurant that just opened up.

    But how do you know what’s happening this weekend? Is the new Mexican place worth going to? Which drywaller should you hire to fix the hole that your three year old made in the living room wall? What do your neighbors think about the city council decision on the new parking lot from last week?

    Neighborsville connects you with your neighbors so you know what’s going on in your neighborhood. We’re building a safe and friendly place for you to meet your neighbors because when you want to know what’s going on in your neighborhood, we think that your neighbors are the best place to turn.”

    That actually does sound cool – I’d hate for people who find the cutely named url on their own somehow not to be given that fun pitch. Maybe it’s just me though! No one else seems to be complaining about this as much. ;-)

  13. @kris Point taken. The blog post really came after a couple of weeks after we launched the intiial site. But here the question we asked ourselves: how much information is too much. We tried to go with the commonly used idea of writting what your business idea on the back of a business card. That’s why it’s short. What we should do is havea “more” button for the more curious.

  14. @kris Point taken. The blog post really came after a couple of weeks after we launched the intiial site. But here the question we asked ourselves: how much information is too much. We tried to go with the commonly used idea of writting what your business idea on the back of a business card. That’s why it’s short. What we should do is havea “more” button for the more curious.

  15. I know “shortness rules” – and you do need a good one-liner. But here’s what I like about the paragraphs from your blog. They tell a story. Those first two paragraphs are easy to visualize and relate to, and they do it without making an obvious sales pitch. If you can condense that a bit, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell your story on that page – after all, you need to sell people on coming back and using the site once it’s ready! You’d be hard-pressed to find a single line that could do that.

    Reading those few paragraphs made me think how cute it might be for some of that to be told with pictures – you might find some art with some of those scenarios at http://istockphoto.com and be able to communicate the story visually with some short blurbs… that would also be cute on pre-launch invitations. Have fun with it – you’re blessed to have a light-hearted concept to work with that almost demands some personality – do you know how many oil & gas and security companies I’ve worked with? LOL!!

  16. I know “shortness rules” – and you do need a good one-liner. But here’s what I like about the paragraphs from your blog. They tell a story. Those first two paragraphs are easy to visualize and relate to, and they do it without making an obvious sales pitch. If you can condense that a bit, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell your story on that page – after all, you need to sell people on coming back and using the site once it’s ready! You’d be hard-pressed to find a single line that could do that.

    Reading those few paragraphs made me think how cute it might be for some of that to be told with pictures – you might find some art with some of those scenarios at http://istockphoto.com and be able to communicate the story visually with some short blurbs… that would also be cute on pre-launch invitations. Have fun with it – you’re blessed to have a light-hearted concept to work with that almost demands some personality – do you know how many oil & gas and security companies I’ve worked with? LOL!!