If you expect people to sign up and perhaps pay for your startup, you have no chance in hell if you don’t explain in credible detail who you are.
Here’s an example (as of Wednesday; May 10, 2017) – everydaycheck.com, a habit-building saas going for $12/year. Looks awesome, and attractive. Chance of me or normal person with a credit card signing up?
Zero.
There’s a small link to Joan Boixadós Twitter account in the footer. That’s it. If I check out her Twitter feed, it looks like Joan is an excellent and professional developer, living in Spain. That’s nice. But there is zero, none, nada chance I’m going to sign up to even try everydaycheck.com since there is zero information about who and where the founder does business.
Startups are about stories – and real live people with identities share their stories. Why did Joan create everydaycheck.com? Who is this founder? What problems does it solve are all secondary – first you need to establish some credibility. And credibility only comes from some reasonable representation of your identity.
Special note for women founders of small startups: unfortunately, there are a lot of assholes on the internet, nearly all men. By all means don’t share information that you do not feel comfortable sharing. But you have to find a way to balance that reality with the reality extremely few people are willing to do businesses with anonymous person.
Takeaways:

  1. You startup especially if it’s small, needs an about page.
  2. If it’s a single founder, the founder’s name and email should be at least in the footer, along with a general location.
  3. The more information you share, the more interesting becomes your startup. Most people get just how hard it is to build an app and put it out there: share the passion that fueled your effort.
  4. Since you’re going to have some company process customer’s payments put their logo in your footer – at least then people can trust Stripe, PayPal or whoever even if they’ve never heard of you. Every such payment processor has a use policy allowing this because they want you to share this info.
  5. Note to women founders: share your vision and your identity, but think about exactly what information you are putting out there.

 

1 Comment

  1. Bob Walsh Reply

    After I wrote this post, I heard from Joan:
    “First of all, thank you very much for reaching out, for having taken the time to write such post and for letting me know.
    I think you are completely right.
    Maybe the only wrong thing is “Zero.”, since fortunately a few users have signed up 😛 but your point still stands and I really appreciate how clearly you stated it. I guess my project being on the spot made me pay more attention to what you wrote 🙂
    It makes me think of how many users may I have lost because of that. I’ll work in that direction now that I have validated that people like my product.
    You don’t literally say it but you also made me see that using the twitter handle as a profile isn’t the best of ideas. In everydayCheck I link to my twitter handle which contains my name, my personal website, and basically to my internet ‘persona’. But it’s not enough. It might have worked until now, but not anymore.”

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