Every Major web company started…

June 5, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here



Think about it?

  • Myspace started with parties in Los Angeles.
  • Google had the tech geeks from the Valley all over it.
  • Facebook was Harvard.
  • WordPress was Texas.

Now when you think oh man we should start nationally, think twice.

Any other examples?

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16 responses to “Every Major web company started…

  1. Robert Franklin Reply

    Very interesting, I wonder where the impetus for this thread was born?

    I have to agree especially when you have limited funds. If your idea has real legs it will grow based on being successful locally and will make it easier for you to raise additional funds if needed.

    Get on base and grow.

    P.S. Still a loyal reader 🙂

  2. Jason H. Reply

    Yahoo was Stanford

    Craigslist, eBay and Yelp were SF

    Napster was Northeastern U.

    Digg, Friendster, and Meebo had the tech geeks from the Valley all over it.

    Skype had the oversee asians all over it.

    I think all of them have two things in common–Geeks and Hipsters/Trend Setters

    Any idea how YouTube got started?

  3. Kip Reply

    I think where is got started is not same thing as the target market. “Start nationally” sounds like you are talking about lauching nationwide.

    The real point is don’t go nationwide (ads? Marketing..ect) if your best friends and family can not even use the services. Success full companies are started to fill a local need i.e without greed of taking over the world.

  4. Jason H. Reply

    Here is good question we shoudl all be asking:

    “What did all these successful web companies do right to cross the chasm?”

  5. Rik Reply

    If you think of it, it’s not weird that things happen like that: most of these companies got their momentum from word-of-mouth, which is a local phenomenon. Although it has a scaling advantage, in the beginning web works the same as brick&mortar companies like starbucks did; you need to build a critical mass, which is easiest done locally.

  6. Charles Reply

    I can relate to this. I started a small social networking site and tried to go national from day one. It wasn’t until I realized that half of my users were Stanford grads from the Bay Area that I stopped focusing on national reach and focused instead on going deeper in the region where my users already seemed to be.

    I think the reason is simple — it’s a lot easier to get word of mouth to happen in a geographically dense area. It’s also easier to understand how those in your home geo behave.

  7. Noah Kagan Reply


    Great way to think about it. I am not sure off the top of my head. I think fundamentally you create an amazing product. On the other hand with MySpace maybe you create the shittiest product you can think of:)

  8. Jason H. Reply


    It’s funny you said that MySpace created the shittiest product. When u really think about it, it’s probably the only one of the more successful web2.0 companies that were spread by the non-geeks and non-ivy-leaguers! I wonder if there is a correlation???

  9. Damon Billian Reply

    I know that some of the PayPal folks think the next huge company will come from the Palo Alto/Mountain View area (they used statistics, of course).

    Pretty much all of the companies mentioned in the post started in tech-friendly areas, even if all of them weren’t started in California.

  10. Piaras M Reply

    One of the first and greatest communitry based sites that I became involved with was Chowhounds. This was and is a great site due to its independant content and the voyeristic aspect of being able to see where other animals come to graze. I love to see what other people are eating and the sense of community is really cool too.

    Hey Noah, here is an oldschool entry for a SF Bay area Burrito Tour. I know you love your Burrito’s.


    Back to the topic at hand. I think that one of the reasons that this site works is that even though it is a national site, it can be broken down regionally to pinpoint relevant information specific to your own demographic. This gives it a more grass roots and community based feel.

    I may be off here but , for me, this site sticks in my concience and I often recommend it to others.