Quotes from Bret Taylor – FriendFeed

Louis Gray was kind enough to share what he heard at a MIT/Standford Venture lab panel on lifestreaming.

You can find Louis’ full entry here.

Here are the parts I found the most interesting… both in terms of FriendFeed’s strategy and the lessons they teach us about creating a startup.

Bret’s presentation stated that FriendFeed, which currently supports 43 different Web services, and is now tracking greater than 100 million individual entries is designed primarily to enable content discovery and social media consumption through a shared experience with friends and peers.

As he said yesterday evening, “The discussion parts of our site have been almost the sole driver of our growth. It’s been interesting to watch, and in retrospect, it was obvious. It was initially one of the underdeveloped parts of our site.”

“We’re not interested in selling. We wanted to forge our own culture, to create a sustainable company,” Bret said. “We have different perspectives on how to build a company of scale, and we want to build a company that scales.”

While Swisher coyly teased some of the panelists about their being “pre-revenue”, Bret said one of the keys to launching a successful business model in the Web 2.0 atmosphere would be to not do so too early, and when they do, to do so in a way that is both quantifiable and analytical. “It makes no sense to try and monetize when you have only 2,000 users,” Bret said. “It’s too early and the early adopter audience does not reflect the behavior of mainstream users.” He cited the early successes of Overture and Google AdWords as forging the quantifiable advertising market, but admitted they weren’t yet sure how ads on FriendFeed would work. “We want to experiment enough to not run out of money before having to raise more, or we will have a sustainable business,” he said.

One thing you can expect FriendFeed not to do is to immediately give in to the demands from the early adopter tech geek set, who can at times be very demanding. While Seesmic CEO Loic LeMeur said the “tech geeks and geek press would have you make products for the geeks,” Kara Swisher helpfully added that group was pretty small to begin with. “It’s 14 slightly-overweight white guys,” she offered.

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