- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
One of the topics I’ve often written and spoken about is the need to get away from thinking that one blog post is going to make you rich and make your startup successful. The ability to reach your actual target customer is the key to success. Tonight I’d like to share a campaign from a NYC/SF startup that I think we can all learn something from about reaching the target consumer and, in addition, going offline to get traction online.
We wrote about Lil’Grams last month when they moved out of private beta and launched their business model. When I spoke with Lil’Grams co-founder Gregarious (Greg) Narain, he mentioned that they were looking at a cross-country launch tour. Greg mentioned that he and his partner signed up for the JetBlue “All You Can Jet” pass which allows for as many flights as you can handle during the month of September.
The tour has launched and is named, “Baby on Board“. They are visiting 13 cities in September including Buffalo, Boulder, Austin, Vancouver, Seattle and Chicago. From the Baby on Board release, “Lil’Grams will offer at every tour stop exclusive discounts, product giveaways, and even opportunities for parents’ “lil’ ones” to be featured on lilgrams.com.”
Continue reading “Lil’Grams Launches Local Marketing Effort All Startups Can Learn From” »
We first covered NY-based Lil’Grams back in November 2007 when they launched a private beta of their baby service. Today the so-called baby book for modern parents, Lil’Grams, goes live. Messages posted on the service by parents are called “grams” and are sent to the network that the parents setup. Lil’Grams is one of the nicest looking web services I’ve seen in a long time – this is especially important considering how much time a parent will spend inside the service.
Lil’grams pushes the grams to the network in the way the people in the network wish to receive them. I spoke with co-founder Gregarious Narain who explained that some people might want email notifications, others may want messages on Facebook and (gasp) some might even want Twitter direct messages.
There are a variety of grams including:
- media gram – for a photo or video
- food gram – “hey look little billy kept his cheerios down”
- word gram – “mom check it out billy said his first word – twitter!”
- story gram – “billy went for a walk today in the park and ate a hot dog”
We’ve covered a bunch of baby services including Kidmondo, Baveo, babyZbook and TotSpot. Lil’Grams is offering only paid plans with no free option. Most of the other services offer a free option and monetize with advertising, affiliate revenue or by partnering with other services that charge a fee. As I mentioned to Gregarious, it will be interesting to see if the other baby services follow suit with paid plans. Just like in other industries, someone always has to be first and then the others typically follow along.
Continue reading “Lil’Grams Publicly Launches a Baby Book for “Modern Parents”” »
We first covered Lil’Grams when they launched their private beta. Founder Gregarious Narain says that the service is “twitter-like for new parents”. They just launched a new design and will be going live with their public launch next month. The service is pretty interesting as you can submit “grams” from nearly anywhere online — from Twitter to email to iPhoto, etc.
I was able to catch-up with Gregarious at SXSW this week and here’s the video from our chat:
Last week I had the opportunity to meet NY-based developer and entrepreneur Greg Narain. Greg is a new father and he has created a new Web application based out of necessity. The application is called Lil’Grams and sits between Twitter, Pownce and Dogster. Greg is a new dad and son Aiden needed a memory book/journal but none of the current social media apps provided what he was looking for. I think of Lil’Grams as a digital replacement for the baby book, the 8mm tapes (that was in my day) and the ability to keep Gramma up-to-date on baby’s progress. If interested, signup for the alpha on their main page.
Lil’Grams allows you to keep every aspect of your baby updated – from text snippits "he just burped" to video "baby’s first walk" to height "damn, looks like those 2 cm’s mean new clothing" to food "he really likes those orange pez" and a 1st category for everything baby does "first".
I think Lil’Grams has great potential and exporting select content will be a large benefit as well. Post a quick message on Lil’Grams, click transfer to Twitter and let everyone see what’s going on. Same with YouTube, Flickr, etc. I could also see buying a domain name for your new baby and redirecting it to Lil’Grams.
This is a niche site and making sure there is a large enough market is critical. Greg notes below that 1.6 million first-time moms, but the market is larger than that. Moms with multiple children work as each baby will want a book. And the site seems simple enough that translation to other languages should be easy to implement which could provide an entirely new marketing opportunity for expansion.
One monetization strategy for Lil’Grams would be partnering with the team at Sharedbook – I would bet a great marriage could take place as SharedBook can provide the printed books for those who want an offline version for family members who aren’t online.
This app is one of the most beautifully designed I have reviewed in quite a bit. I had the chance to chat with Greg about Lil’Grams and here is our transcript:
Allen: Greg, can you share some details on why you created Lil’Grams?
Greg: I made this entirely for my son Aiden. One day, my wife called to tell me that Aiden had just gone to the doctor and he now weighed 15 pounds. That was really exciting news to me, firstdaditis I guess it was, but it got me to thinking I didn’t really know where to put that information. While we had a baby book, it wasn’t there, nor did it have a slot for his 3 month checkup.
At the same time, I was traveling a lot for work and was calling home daily to find out what was going home while getting camera phone shots from mom and grandma. This was great but seemed not quite right. I considered a blog and even twitter as ways to store this, but none of them felt right either.
Being a developer and entrepreneur, I pretty much didn’t have an option from there :)
Allen: Who is the target user of Lil’Grams?
Greg: Our target is really first time parents. There’s something like 1.6MM new, first-time moms a year. Of course, we also welcome and hope that parents with their second or third baby will also take the opportunity. In addition, we’re really focused as a company on helping parents with learning disabilities, autism, and other developmental problems. Our app is great for helping keep tabs on how their development is progressing and we hope will be a resource for the physicians and other professionals that are key to the baby’s life.
Allen: Why’d you pick New York for launching your app?
Greg: Starting in New York was a no-brainer. In fact, I was living in San Francisco and moved back here. I’m a native New Yorker and though the love affair with San Francisco was wonderful, this is where family is. With Aiden, I didn’t want anyone missing out on his childhood.
Allen: Why the name Lil’Grams?
Greg: The idea for the name came from the notion that we are sending out little telegrams – short messages that are delivered over the wire. In our case, these nuggets contain fun facts about the baby’s life.
Best of luck to Greg with Lil’Grams!