The call to sign the Startup Manifesto filled my Twitter Timeline tonight. It's a 22 point action list of what EU government should do to create a startup friendly Europe. Signing it pretty much means you agree with the 22 point plan and I signed it, because there are a lot of good items on the list. That was the good, but I'm going to be an ars now and tell you what I think is the bad and the ugly.
Whats in it for me?
The first thing a startup will explain to the visitor is the “what’s in it for me”.
This is the Call To Action (CTA) of the site:
“Help internet-driven economic growth transform the lives of millions” -> Sign this manifesto
That’s beautiful and grand, but most of all it’s very fuzzy. The target market is european internet users that believe that Startups can save the EU.
The page Title is already better: “A manifesto for entrepreneurship and innovation to power growth in the EU”. Aah, that’s what this site is about.
Where I’m not a copywriter and will try to improve on this.
“I believe that startups can save Europe and solve the economic crisis” -> I sign this manifesto
The problem is with the line above that it’s still unclear whats in it for me.
“Startups can save the European economic crisis. Make EU politicians act!” -> Sign this manifesto
Startups are sexy
The second thing; a startup is sexy. It’s got to seduce it’s visitors. If you have 22 bullet points you want to present and if you want me to read them all, you better present it in the best way possible. Startups often use (interactive) infographics to do this. Not the startup manifesto site.
It has 5 paragraphs of raw factual text with links to studies and sexy things like GDP and the G-20. Then you have the 22 point which are mentioned earlier in the text but you see 5 categories (usability wise confusing). Clicking on the categories gives you more, much more text. Then you have 9 places for photo’s of which 8 are filled? 2 of the photo’s work for the same company? Then there is “the hope to reflect the views etc etc” and than you can sign.
That’s not very sexy.
Know take a loot at this startup oriented website: startupsthisishowdesignworks. That IS sexy.
Good design according to thisishowdesignworks.com
Who made startupmanifesto.eu?
The website is a project from The Leaders club.
- Inspire others by sharing views on what needs to be done for web entrepreneurs
- Act as role models for those thinking of following a similar path
- Support the implementation of the Commission’s web entrepreneur initiatives
- Share experience & best practices to improve Europe’s entrepreneurial spirit and startup culture
Where their ideas are inspiring the website is not. I do not see the fuzzy text and the unclear goal of the website/project as rolemodely. It is an initiative but best practice or spirited are not the keywords I would use.
The chance they had was enormous. Which of the 22 point should be highest on the agenda (voting system), how do we get them on the agenda? It’s just some of the first things that pop in my head. If this was presented as a minimal viable product (MVP) at any of the companies these people work, the presenter would have to go back to the drawing board.
Startups and entrepreneurs are all about doing. There was nothing to do at startupmanifesto.eu and that should not have been the case. In the time it took me to write this article less then 50 people signed. My advise? Pivot the concept and pivot it fast. Should you sign it? Yes the 22 point are the right points so sign this manifesto.