Startup Weekend UW 1/25/13

We’ll talk about Startup Weekends in class, but here’s an event you should consider signing up for – or at least stopping by to check out.

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.  Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.  Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.


Google acquires Dealmap

The Dealmap was acquired by Google in August of 2011 as it continues to compete with companies such as Groupon and Livingsocial, for space in the online daily deal market.

Dealmap touts itself as the world’s largest daily deal aggregator and has the ability to scan over 400 daily deal sites, then displaying the purchasing opportunities on a map so users can easily see what is relevant and accessible to them. Before they were acquired, they had over 2 million users. Although Google already had launched Google Offers and has a strong map interface, this acquisition provided them with the unique link between their two existing services and has enabled them to build up their user base.

Google was unable to acquire Groupon previously and is clearly determined to be a big player in this space, so this acquisition is not surprising. They most likely acquired Dealmap for both its team, its technology and its list of users.

As for Dealmap, they will have access to an impressive team and tremendous resources and the alignment of the two companies will be able to incubate great mutual success. I imagine that the Dealmap will be absorbed completely into Google Offers and this company will disappear as an independent organization.

This is just one of the many acquisitions that Google has recently made–with their incredibly strong performance, it is not surprising that they choose to acquire companies rather than re-invent the wheel and invest in developing these technologies on their own. Boogeyman ad, the employment website ran a creative marketing campaign that displayed videos of individuals who were not right for their current jobs. The videos then showed them going to and easily finding a job that was much better suited for them. While the company put out many different 30 second videos on television and on youtube, I was particularly interested in the “Boogeyman” Ad which first ran during the AFC championship game in 2010. The boogeyman is shown in many failed attempts trying to scare children at night–he is caught be the police, attacked by a dog, surprised by the child and not scaring anybody. He goes to and finds himself a job as a CPA which seems to make him happy. The commercial is not only funny and well produced, but it also can be identified with easily by many people who are seeking a new or better job. It is effective, direct and has a straightforward call to action.

The videos were shown online via their website as well as, however the biggest investment was certainly the 30 second spots during the AFC championship game on TV. On average, a 30 second commercial costs 2-3 million during these games and they ran several different ads during the campaign. I would estimate that the entire media cost of this campaign was close to $5-10 million between all NFL game commercial spots they purchased.

The videos were well produced and based on the industry data I was able to research, I would estimate that each commercial cost around $5000 each. Between the content creation, production, editing, etc. these commercials were certainly not cheap to make.

Since is a website and the call to action from the ads is for users to go to the site, I think the success would be judged by how many individual users went to the sites directly after the commercials were aired. In addition to ad revenue they receive from the site, employers also pay to post ads to the website–they would most likely track how many employers paid to add postings after the commercials aired. I believe that based on their financial performance in the months following the ads combined with the well placed ad spots and clever creative, the campaign was successful.