Unbalanced Business Models, or “Stick a Fork in #KLOUT

Business Development, early stage, startup CEO, Uncategorized, venture

Here is a blog I wrote last February, after giving Klout a try then feeling cheated of my time.  Here we are 5 months later as I see unfortunate colleagues trying it.


“Stick a Fork in Klout – They Are Done”     — Frustrated User, November 2011

One of the reasons that Google and Facebook and Twitter continue to march forward and upward is that they simply work and don’t exploit people very much. Maybe Facebook exploits more than others, but they overcompensate by giving more than they get – balancing their needs (your eyeballs and time on their ads) with providing amazing amount of previously unrealized value to your life – information, sharing, bite sized things that make you feel good or laugh, in Google’s case great tools to run your life or business. In the end they win revenue-wise, your clicks get them revenue, but I can say I’ve gotten so many benefits from these companies (yes, even Facebook). Their value went far beyond even their imagination.

Then you have companies like Klout and a few others. I know, Klout has raised $40 million, has gotten several of the social-rati to testify to it’s greatness, it will soon have more accuracy, more SM metrics, etc. But I’ve “played Klout” twice – about a year ago and then again over the past 2 weeks, and the up/down experience is pretty unsatisfying. Maybe it was a good idea, but in the end a bad product with too many missteps to recover.

Here are some of the problems:

1) It doesn’t work – If you look at the”most influential” in any category it’s pretty far from the actual truth.

2) It is very incomplete. It misses over 50% of my actual Internet/Social activity.

3) It can be easily gamed- I’ve easily manipulated it.

4) People change their behavior  – from their real priorities to Klouts priorities to improve their score.

5) The Perks are mostly non-existent –

They fool you into believing that your coolness, i.e. ability to develop your business rep, is controlled by them. Shame.

So don’t waste your time, it’s all over there. It was barely worth my time to write this except maybe it will help others not waste theirs.   @tomnora