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Hi I'm Liam founder of Betacities, creator of Linktagger.com


#1

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself to the forum. I’ve been listening to Bootstrapped.fm since the first episode. In fact I think i’m mentioned in the 2nd episode after asking a couple of questions on twitter.

My company is Betacities (www.betacities.com) an IoT (Internet of Things) technology company, our main product is a SaaS app called Linktagger (www.linktagger.com). Linktagger is a dynamic link generator that allows users to create dynamic QR Codes, NFC chips and iBeacons.

I have another app that is trailing this summer in the UK called HelloCity! an Urban way finding and retail rewards app that I founded with a friend, it uses the Linktagger for QR and NFC way finding and reward validation.

My background is in telecoms, I founded my first start-up in 2008, an ISP called RiPWiRE, I bootstrapped it from broke to over £1.5 Million in revenue, then sold it in Feb 2012 after a very stressful couple of years!

I went in to consulting for a while, helping growing companies find their feet, and assisted some VC’s that wanted new concepts technically verified, have to say it was very hard work and not something I would pursue. I’ve been building Linktagger for the last 18 months and have to say I’m very far away from my comfort zone, but hoping to get some traction soon!

I also own a cosmetics company that I started last year. I’ve always wanted to work with physical products and used this as an easy introduction to it. With what I learned here I’ve been able to start work on our own iBeacon’s for Linktagger which has been a great experience.

Well that’s about it I think. Look forward to participating in the forums.


#2

I know I’m not your target customer but I was put off by your testimonials area. Unless Starbucks, Tesco etc. are customers, it creates a bad taste in my mouth and overall feel for your company’s image.

I’m assuming they are not your customers since you say that they are using “QR” and I assume the wording and its placement is intentional to trick potential customers.

I don’t know if this is good marketing or bad marketing, but it smells bad. I’m a rather transparent and honest individual so when I come across copy like this it puts me off.

I would love to hear your thoughts.


#3

Hi James,

We have product links in our database from all of these companies. Take Vitalifehealth for example, they use our QR on all their products that they themselves manufacture. They were actually our first paying customer, they have stores in various cities in the UK and are actually stocked in places such as Holland and Barrett.

We’re not being dishonest, we’ve actually written blog posts about some of these customers use of our platform.

Cheers,

Liam.


#4

Just wanted to add, our issue seems to be that as a bootstrapped company we seem to get zero press coverage, even when we attract a well known customer. It’s became a real issue for us, we get no coverage at all!


#5

If that’s the case, I strongly suggest that you change “These are using QR… Are you?” to something like “Join our many happy Lintagger clients” or something so that it is clear. I would work with some of these recognized names and come up with white papers (i.e. case studies) that you can use to get new customers


#6

It’s a damn shame too! One of my friends works in the marketing department for a very successful bootstrapper (I wasn’t given permission to share this, so I can’t name names). Anyway, they were all at a conference and the speaker asked the audience to raise their hands if they were self-funded (most people weren’t), then asked the audience who was funded (most raised their hands), then the speaker went on to say “That’s what I thought, let’s talk about such and such” with an attitude that the real players were the funded ones. The bootstrapper then looked to her coworkers all miffed and said, “I have a million of my OWN dollars in the bank now, why do we get no respect for this?”

It’s just the world we live in I’m afraid. Take solace though that Techcrunch and popular media traffic usually doesn’t convert that well. These are just information porn for people who like to ooh and aah at large numbers. At the end of the day we just need to find our target audience, solve their problem, find ways to get in front of them, and build a business that doesn’t keep us from the things we enjoy doing.

Oh, and nice to meet you! :smile: