Business information needs a lot more startups, and we think our early lessons may have some pointers for others trying in different sectors.
Skift is exactly nine months old today. Since we started the company last year, we have believed we are building a new kind of business information brand — a travel information brand in the largest sense of that phrase — a startup built to scale out of the vertical ghettos, and match the size, scope, ambition and creative promise of the world’s most exciting and largest sector, travel.
Since launch, we have scaled very quickly as we continue to execute on the first phase of our plan: for Skift.com to be the homepage of the travel industry, to become the lingo in travel, and we are well on our way to achieve that. We also continue to build out our data and premium services plans, and you may have seen the early MVP in SkiftSocial, and we’re hiring developers to continue to build.
With a very small team of five, we are now among the top two or three largest travel news and information sites in the industry, based on self-reported numbers of legacy competitors, and pretty soon the largest.
What is our story so far? What are the lessons we have learned from the last nine months, and indeed decade plus of my experience in building vertical media and information startups? How do you build a brand that will transcend industry-defined historical boundaries? What are the lessons of being a thin/lean/insert-your-buzzy-phrase media+data startup and how do you break through in a seemingly mature and crowded space? Can it be replicated in other sectors, by other startups?
I gave a presentation earlier this week at the ABM annual conference, on “Building a Business Information Brand in 2013” which attempted to answer some of those questions, as reflected in our journey over second half of 2012 and into 2013, and as we enter the revenue building phase of our company.
Embedded below, an extended version of that presentation over 30 slides.