Seesmic vs. Hictu: a lesson in bootstrapping

Loic Le Meur’s new company, Seesmic, was given raves by Mike Arrington this morning.

That drew out Luca Filigheddu who asked whether Arrington was talking about his service, Hictu. Now Hictu had remained off of my radar screen until he made that comment so off I went to check it out.

First of all, notice the difference in launch strategies used by these two guys. Loic has been visiting a whole series of bloggers and showing off his software. Asking for advice. Doing videos where he doesn’t feature himself, but features the blogger he’s visiting. This is HUGELY smart. It’s PR that takes advantage of our egos — in a good way. I have good feelings about Loic because of how he launched his company. It’s the smartest launch I’ve seen in a while and not very expensive.

Also note that he moved to San Francisco to start his company. Why did he do that? Well, because most of the top journalists and tech bloggers are within an hour of San Francisco. So are tons of the world’s top developers and marketers and business people (not all, but enough of a concentration that Loic noticed it all the way from Paris). Smart #2.

But back to the point of this post: bootstrapping.

Why did I call Seesmic “video Twitter?” Because it actually uses Twitter and builds on top of it. Hictu doesn’t do that. I don’t see any of my friends on Hictu, while I see anyone who posts a video in Twitter in Seesmic.

That’s brilliant and is why, I think, Arrington was so addicted all weekend long.

Also, why am I more addicted to Twitter than the prettier (and more capable Pownce)? Look no further than Seesmic (and Dave Winer’s TwitterGram and FlickrGram). Among others. The API is bringing us really cool new services that aren’t possible on Pownce.

Seesmic IS addicting. I saw that immediately when Loic showed it to me. Sorry Hictu.

I sure wish companies would stop building new social networks and start bootstrapping on top of existing ones.