Grass Roots Growth vs. One Big Hit

ML Aug 17, 2006

Does slow & steady win the race?

HitTail has been out since about June 6. That’s just over two months. It was launched as a beta with no official announcement–only a roll-out in the SEO forums. It has not been picked up yet by any of the major Web 2.0 publishers. It was briefly “SlashDotted” by being held on Jason Calcanis’ controversial Netscape Digg-clone homepage on launch-day. But that was hardly a big hit. HitTail’s growth so far has been an organic process. It had been grass roots and word of mouth, partially because of the difficulty of “getting it“.

And we’re happy to say the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, indicating that we’re doing something different than everyone else.

Some related products that have come out in the meantime have managed to get covered in publications such as TechCrunch. The product was easily understood, had a high value, but was not being turned into a free product. Additionally, their beta program felt rather exclusive when you applied, and from the lack of buzz I’ve heard since, has not signed up a lot of the applicants. HitTail on the other hand is an open public beta program, and we’ve stated our intent to keep the basic service free even after beta.

So, what’s the difference between grass roots growth, and getting one big online media hit? We all know Alexa data is skewed towards Alexa-using Webmaster sites. Thankfully, it would skew HitTail and other related products about the same, because that category of product specifically appeals to Webmasters. So, the graph at the top may actually be an apples-to-apples comparison.

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