Seth Godin wrote an interesting post today about what he calls a “Chicken and Egg” problem business. I recognized the problem as one we talk about at MyPunchbowl as the “Cold Start” problem. For us, it’s about how (with our future functionality) to get people to write reviews and recommendations about vendors in the event and party industry. Many businesses have this problem, particularly when it comes to reviews and recommendations (how many times even at Amazon have you seen an item without a review?).
There is no easy way to solve the cold start problem– but for us, we want to create really compelling software for people who are passionate about party and event planning. Software that hosts come back to time and time again to throw their best party yet. If the software is a joy to use, then we think users will be more likely to contribute to the community.
So that’s one way to solve the Chicken/Egg/Coldstart problem: get a group of hard-core users who love your software– and grow the community one user at a time.