Boy I haven't been to a launch party like that since the dotcom was still bubbling. There must have been 300 people jammed into Michael Arrington's Atherton yard, all enjoying beer and pizza at an event billed as a barbecue. Pictures are all over the place and most faces are smiling with hands clutching beverages of choice.
Munjal was at his most gracious in his very brief remarks. He pointed the glory to Tara Hunt for serving so well as the company's blogging evangelist. But, he rightfully gave the greater glory to the team of seven Riya PhDs whose recognition technology collaboration will soon change a small slice of the world for the better.
Blogging has proved an important point in Riya's story. Spear-headed by Tara, Riya has become widely and enthusiastically known among early adopters--the people who most make a difference for a startup. Riya's public story began less than four months ago and this morning they are, according to Technorati, the second most discussed story on the Blogosphere, with nearly 3500 links in the past six days. This confirms to me, that in "certain cases," a start up no longer needs to assume the burden of traditional PR get recognition.
Those certain cases are when their technology matters. What blogging has done for Riya would not have happened if their technology was mediocre; did not solve a problem that all digital photographers know they have; was not offering a service that people are queuing up to join. Riya has all of this and I predict that on the first anniversary of the day Riya goes into public beta, they will have 25 million users downloads. Their blog-based, word-of-mouth strategy will allow them to do it without issuing a single press release. They will get more traditional press coverage than they possibly will get by going on a press tour. And they will accomplish all that at incredibly low cost.
But, it's vital to recognize that blogging is simply a communications channel. Technology is what's important. When we denizens of Silicon Valley forget that part things tend to, well, bubble up.
Technorati tag: Riya