Ingredients of Web 2.0 Success: the Video

The makers of Reddit have a how-to video about starting your own Web 2.0 company.

Pierre Francois, a partner in underscore_ Consulting, shares the wisdom he has gained for the past two decades in a segment for BarCamp Boston, held last June 3-4, 2006.

No stone was left unturned, including of course how to name your company. Here are somemost of the tips he generously shared to the audience, and now, the whole web:


The Most Important Part

“the most, the absolute most important part of any startup… the integral part that every website needs, the individual behind it all — the designer.”
“don’t worry about what the website will do, worry about what it’ll look like!”

Rounded corners

“they’re like little hugs”

Fonts: Bigger is always better

“set the letter spacing to something small, those letters don’t want to be next to one another, they want to be close, too”


“i couldn’t see how we made websites with solid colors”

Tag Clouds

“they may just be the best invention of web 2.0 – and 1.0… they are here to stay. i’d make sure every single site had one.”


“buy the shortest one that you can find that has the elements of normal english words”
“you’d probably want to drop a vowel or two”
“for good measure, also throw in an r at the end”

What if that name isn’t available as a dot com?

“del dot icio dot us validated the ‘usurp a country domain’ model”
[just like iraq validated the ‘usurp a country’ model]
“just start using it as a verb and it should catch on real fast”
[hey baby, wanna come back to my place for some Squdoctppr?]



“lotsa places to look… but i would recommend ukraine”

What does your website do?

“i just surf around techcrunch for a few minutes and piece together different ideas from sites that i see” [ – a Squdoctppr company]

Web 2.0 does not have a solid business model

“how can you make a business model out of a revolution? when jefferson was drafting the declaration of independence, his buddies weren’t bugging him about a business model of the united states.”
“if you want your company to succeed, you have got to move to silicon valley. a successful startup requires blocking the trends that everyone else is following, which is why you have to move to a place where everyone thinks that way.”


“you absolutely cannot show weakness”
“there’s only one person who needs to use your website — michael arrington.”

T-shirts and Stickers

(Enough said! Everybody needs them!)


“you want someone who understands the big picture”
“you’ll lose credibility with every second you hesitate… just stick with ruby on rails.”
“ajaxxmlcssmysql. you don’t just use them, you’re powered by them”

Q&A Portion

From the audience: “what exactly do you do?”
Pierre Francois: “are you a programmer? your english is fantastic. y’know i don’t remember your question so… when people go to websites, they don’t see your code, they see my design. and really that’s what matters.”

Footnote: I think I should have “disguised” this entry as “Squdoctppr.”

4 thoughts on “Ingredients of Web 2.0 Success: the Video

  1. gah!! that was entertaining :P especially the hugs and rounded corners one. but the squdoctppr epsilon (and the logo!) takes the cake.

  2. So now Web 2.0 is a formula. Though I would say that “Web 2.0” success doesn’t necsesarily translate to success in the real world. Wouldn’t you think so, too?

    At any rate, it shouldn’t have to have a business model. But it should be helluva lot fun!

  3. epsilon:
    ah, can’t these companies get to epsilon any faster? at least flickr’s reached gamma recently.

    business model:
    well, depends if you set out to make money or spend money. everybody loves having fun with web 2.0, maybe that’s why people hate it so much as well.

  4. Pingback: Phrazr : Qwerky, Notebook of the Weirdest New Web 2.0 Names!

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