In the old days you had a business idea and kept it secret until you were ready to release it to the world in a blaze of publicity. Before the product hit the streets you would have tried to protect your Intellectual Property (IP) to make it as hard as possible for others to copy.

This is all changing, particularly for high growth, low capital intensive, internet startups. The key here is speed to market and customer feedback, which you need as rapidly as possible. It’s all about getting that minimum viable product out there and receiving as much input as possible. The channel for this is often social media with traditional PR playing a supporting role.

We see the change at our networking events. A few years ago, entrepreneurs were reticent about sharing their early stage ideas in public. Now they feel confident about receiving reaction. It’s all part of the PR strategy.

We have also seen increased focus on UX.  Great product design creates significant barriers to entry. When this is coupled with early product release and great PR it is difficult for competitors to make up ground.

A great PR strategy runs alongside product development. The use of Twitter and Facebook creates a buzz about the developing proposition and helps the founders gauge reaction to product features. This avoids the situation where a technical team work in isolation for months only to discover that no-one wants what they are building.

We will be covering some of this topic at this weeks Dreamstake Academy session on Agile Marketing.

Dreamstake is an online accelerator for startups.  We combine data from Linkedin and Crunchbase with other startup related details to provide a startup launch platform. A key feature is advanced profile search which allows entrepreneurs to find resources from across the 6000 members. We also connect entrepreneurs at our regular events and in the workspaces we partner with The Workspace Group. We are also organising #startupprevolution across Europe on 14 July 2012