Tracking Tackk Competition
Note: this proposal was agreed to in a phone call between Eric, Christopher, and Robert on 2012-09-18. This date constitutes the starting date of this project. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In late August 2012 Christopher became the CEO of Tackk, a web startup nurtured by Hatch Partners, LLC. Tackk has created a service that lives in the space between Twitter and blogs, a simple way for people to share messages that need to be dressed up with photos, color, and typography, but don’t justify the hassle of creating a web “site.”
Of course, Tackk is not alone in recognizing the opportunity inherent in this gap. Tracking others trying to colonize this space is vital to honing Tackk’s competitive message. A greater awareness of how others are approaching this opportunity can also help Tackk recognize its strengths and focus its product on essentials. Tackk is not interested in imitating other players, but recognizing how their choices differ from Tackk’s choices can help keep the Tackk team sharp.
Christopher asked my help in tracking the competition for Tackk and sharing findings with the team.
Definition of Role
I will collect information about Tackk competitors including CheckThis, Smore, and Medium. Other competitors may be identified by the Tackk team or myself over time. This will include:
- regularly visiting competitor sites to note changes in presentation and features
- signing up for accounts or beta programs in an attempt to use these sites
I will prepare a living document on this wiki for each competitor, compiling what has been learned from the collection of information above. This content will be made available in Google Documents on a wiki accessible to the whole Tackk team. A wiki page will be made available to host an index to these documents.
I will develop a set of benchmarks that can be used to measure Tackk against the competition. On a monthly basis I will re-evaluate Tackk and competitors on these benchmarks.
I will make myself available to talk with Christopher as needed, about both the competitive landscape and my own observations of Tackk’s performance and progress.
I will make myself available to meet with the Tackk team if this is ever deemed to be helpful. As an outside voice, I will be available to share observations and critique of how Tackk is meeting its mission and the competition in its market.
I will be reporting directly with Christopher on this effort. He may include other team members as he wishes, but I will not be responsible for reporting to anyone else directly. I am also not responsible for the development or design of Tackk in any way, though my observations and commentary may have some influence on its direction.
Information collection will start immediately upon agreement to this proposal.
Living documents for each competitor will be created within two weeks of initiating this project (by 2012-10-02). After one week for revision based on feedback from Christopher and Robert, these documents will be made available to whoever they designate (by 2012-10-09).
A first draft of benchmarks will be made available to Christopher by the third week of the project (by 2012-10-09). The first measurement of Tackk and competitors vis-a-vis these benchmarks will be available in the fifth week of this project (by 2012-10-23) and revised each month from there on.
Please provide a two week lead for any travel required. There is a reasonable chance I can travel on less notice, but the lead time will facilitate planning on my end.
As a consultant, I do not charge by the hour. The services above will cost $2,000 per month. Any travel required will cost $1,000 per day plus expenses.
Eric brings over 15 years of library and 30 years of technology experience to his consulting. At MIT Eric shepherded the creation of DSpace, open source digital repository management software developed with HP and now deployed at hundreds of institutions worldwide. At the University of Minnesota Libraries he encouraged the development of the UThink blog service, a wiki-based staff intranet, LibData, and the University Digital Conservancy. He works with non-profit institutions on appropriate uses of technology for informing, communicating, and collaborating with their constituencies.