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How to have the next big web start up:

punhr app logo by brad hines

by Brad Hines 5-22-12:

1.) Create an app or website that utilizes crowdsourcing/user generated content and taps into social media through either facebook or twitter-preferably one related to photo sharing, augmented reality, location-awareness or a combo thereof.

2.) Come up with a proprietary verb that can sum up your business a la follows, tweets, pins, shares etc. Like “Punches” for example.

3.) Have your start-up name end in “Us”, “Ly”, “OO”, or “R”. For example your punchr by brad hinesapp that “punches people in the face” might be called or Punchr, use a light-hearted rounded bubbly font. If there is a "C" in your startup's name change it to a "K" just because you can get away with it. Consider getting yourself a cutesy mascot.

4.) Come up with a grandiose, vague, and generally dumb mission statement like “don’t be evil”.

5.) The company should be mostly Gen-Y and a few Gen-X, wearing zip-up hoodies and snarky tees. Have the token baby boomer who is the “daddy” and the only guy who shows up with a button-down shirt on.

Shirt Hoodie Swetshirt

Ashton Kutscher by Brad Hines6.) Make sure you secure capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Accel, Union Square, Greylock, Highland Capital, Y Combinator and/or Ahston Kutcher/other miscellaneous celebrity since that tells people it’s more important than it really is.






7.) Go to the SXSW festival and be the talk of the show, bonus points if you crash everyone’s cell phone battery with your new app’s power juicing ridiculousness (I'm looking at you Highlight.)

low battery

    “Did you try that new app that punches you in the face?”
- “Punchr? Love it. Let me punch you right now.”
“Oh you can’t my battery just went dead.”

8.) Quickly move into an office in the Silicone Valley, Seattle, San Francisco, or Ikea furniture by brad hinesBrooklyn and deck it out with IKEA® furniture and your trademark unique whimsical thing bought on eBay e.g.:

Slush Puppy Machine by Brad Hines

Guy A: At the insurance company, they upgraded our 401k plan this month.
Guy B: Yeah, well at the Punchr office we’ve got a slush puppy® machine and Nerf® guns-take that!

Nerf Gun

9.) Use a freemium model, where the app is free-maybe ad supported- and at the precise moment you can tell the user is clinically addicted to your app charge them for premium usage, specially if you can make them buy meaningless virtual goods like colors, crops, crap etc.

10.) Make sure your startup is at least 3 people at the local offices-but you can say you have many more because of Unal, Sanjay, Sanjana, who all work remotely from that big Asian country… what was it?

11.) Don’t decide how your company will actually profit until sometime after the IPO, in the mean time relentlessly promise users you will never charge for anything.

12.) Have the site’s usage -particularly purchasing virtual goods-tap into a person’s reward system bordering on a crack addiction

.pp addict

13.) In your VC pitch, use terms like “game-changing”, “buzz”, “Killer app”, “key”, be able to say “we are getting the eyeballs first, and the monetization later” while holding a straight face.


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Brad Hines YumDomainsAbout the Author: Brad Hines is the president of, the founder of, and an Internet analyst. He is a writer who writes about internet and business trends. He can be followed on Twitter: @BradHines






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