Part 8: Would I Do Sampa Again?

First of all, the original Sampa was meant to be a website builder solution primarily for small business. I even considered being a white-label solution for hosting companies. I think the small business solution for website is still somewhat broken. When people say they will build their website on top of Wordpress it gives me chills. Not because Wordpress isn’t a descent/simple solution to build websites, but because Wordpress is being considered a simple and effective way to build websites. Seriously, can’t we do better than that?

On the Family/Baby space, I also think there is lots of room to create a new and appealing solution. I don’t think anyone “owns” that space in terms of brand. If I tell you to give the first brand name that comes to mind when I say “baby website” or “family website”, you’ll probably won’t know, unless you are working on this space.

The problem with Family/Baby websites is not so much of a technology problem as it is of a marketing and customer acquisition problem.

There are 4 million new babies being born in the US every year, yet, there are just a few hundred thousand queries on Google to “create baby website” (and variants). That means people don’t even know they can have a baby website. Unless someone finds an effective way to reach those customers, you won’t have a winner. There are only three large companies, above them all, that have a finger on the pulse of the baby market, including names, emails and addresses. If someone figures out how to partner with them, this startup will likely emerge as the winner. What are those 3 companies? Toys-R-Us, Target and Wal-Mart. Together they probably reach half of all the new moms in the US through their baby registry, and if you own the “baby site” market, it’s just a matter of a year or two for you to own the “family site” space.

Some people will say that you should start at the Wedding site space, but I disagree. The wedding site builder industry is very crowded. There is no “central distribution point” you can reach many customers at once, and between a Wedding and a baby might be years.

As to answer the title of this post, I don’t know. Given the right pieces of the puzzle being in place I might do something like this again. I still think this is a good idea and the solutions out there are not good enough. It’s just a tough market to crack.

Marcelo Calbucci

Marcelo Calbucci

I'm a technologist, founder, geek, author, and a runner.