Diaspora’s success at raising over $175k in a matter of days shouldn’t only be attributed to the collective outcry over Facebook’s privacy mess-ups. From the get-go, Diaspora did several smart things to lay a foundation for success:
1. Ask for money in the beginning. Unlike Twitter and other digital products that began as free to users and eventually tried to establish a financial model, Diaspora understands that your best bet to build desired behaviors is from inception.
2. “I was here first.” Similar to the above, technophiles want to be the first ones to join a community. These individuals will provide you with the best insight for agile development, spread the word and defend your platform when times get tough.
3. Software is free, hosting service and phone support are at a premium. Pay nothing at the door, but make sure the bar inside is loaded.
4. Tiered, tangible rewards. Diaspora not only recognizes people’s concerns around digital privacy, but also a desire to reconnect with “offline goods.” Rewards such as t-shirts and stickers might sound kitchy, but geeks like myself will proudly wear such flare.
I’m pretty excited to see what these NYU kids work up. And I’m not just saying that because they went to my alma mater!