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Don’t Ignore The Big Four

September 8, 2010

Startup Tip #9 Don’t Ignore The Big Four

I’m not talking about accounting firms.  The Big Four in tech and new media are: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple.  Word to the wise, the Big Four change over time – ten years ago the Big Four were Microsoft, Intel, IBM and Motorola.

To succeed, all tech and/or new media startups should early on, connect to the Big Four.  This critical step is sometimes forgotten in the early life cycle of startups, where issues such as founders, organization, alpha/beta testing and funding tend to get most of the attention. Connecting to the Big Four is easy and important.


The easiest way to connect to Google involves search – a unique website URL, regular social media/blog activity (see below) and news (if not stealth). Early stage startups can sometimes take advantage of Google AdSense.


Get on Facebook. If you haven’t named your company or acquired a domain name, try to find a name that is available at Facebook, Twitter (see below) and other popular social media sites.  This will help you promote a consistent brand. Use and regularly update your Facebook page. It never ceases to amaze as to how many startups secure a Facebook name, yet fail to maximize the use of Facebook.


Get on Twitter. Many say Twitter is not mainstream. I disagree, but even if I’m wrong, the tech people are all there. Try to have different content at Twitter and Facebook, i.e. don’t just link the accounts and updates as so many do. Don’t retweet more than you tweet original thoughts and comments. Follow the thought leaders relevant to your business. Include a bio and website. Be patient – it takes time to build up followers on Twitter.


Apple was listed last, not due to least importance, but because it is a slightly more challenging connection to make. With Ping, you can and should sign up on the network using iTunes 10. The next way to connect is via the App Store. Even if you initially create a basic app to promote your company (vs. a fully functional app showcasing your technology), the potential exposure is worth it. There are many third party providers that can quickly and inexpensively create semi-custom basic apps. I recommend Mobile Roadie and similar companies.

In summary, don’t ignore connecting to the Big Four. If you do this before you seek angel or VC funding, your investors will be impressed. Regardless, your company will have a better shot at success if you establish and nurture these connections.

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