After what seemed like the biggest PR week ever for a start-up, I did a Google News search this morning on "Twitter" and found 1,612 news articles. It was more than twice the Google News results for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay and Yahoo! COMBINED.
Last month, Seth Godin wrote a blog post talking about the difference between PR and publicity. If great PR is the strategic crafting of a compelling story...just what is the Twitter story? Can there be a credible story without customers (not users) and how they make money?
Before you get Twitter envy and start doing dumb things (like Facebook did changing its homepage) be sure you understand what your true mission is as an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur's mission is not to get publicity or to become famous. It is to build a company. Without revenues and profits, you cannot have a viable company.
There is no doubt that Twitter has innovative product people and great engineers to be able to handle scalability issues. But let's just see if they will still be around when their venture funding runs out and the hype dies down.
In the meantime, don't learn the wrong lessons from Twitter. Don't rush out to hire a new PR agency. I've seen plenty of companies get hyped, raise huge amounts of funding, and land speaking gigs and magazine covers all around the world. It doesn't mean they will make it. In fact, it might decrease their chances (don't confuse cause/effect).
Yes, they might get lucky and flip the company for a princely sum (as Youtube did). But I doubt they will build a successful business or a lasting company.
What is your definition of success? PR or publicity? Build your company or your reputation? Build to last or build to flip?