Business Takes No Prisoners

by Travis Ketchum · 2 comments

In business, as in love, there are simply no prisoners. Many of you who read this blog know that I have a passion project called MyBigGive. Recently we have been lucky enough to take part in a little thing called Startup Madness, which is being hosted by an investment firm called TechStars.

This way this is working is a play on March Madness, but instead of basketball teams competing for the crown it is a bunch of startup companies competing for votes from the audience in order to get precious resources like hosting credits, email and potentially even an investment round from TechStars themselves.

The Interesting Part

Since we have been really lucky to have a passionate audience, we absolutely crushed the first round. Coming in at a humbling 71% vote ratio and beating out an interesting visual product search company called Glancely. When we were moved along into Round 2, the success initially continued with our vote count floating between 63% and 70%.

Tonight however, for the past few hours – our new competitor which is called “homing Cloud”, and aims to be a new type of mortgage broker suddenly – and I mean in a matter of minutes was somehow able to plunge our count down a staggering 16% and steadily stream in votes in a way to feels less than organic.

What to do

Now, perhaps homing Cloud really just has a huge audience that responded to an effective mailing. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, however what I’d really like to do is bounce back on this with your support to show them how effective a passionate audience can really be. Voting is simple and easy but the positive effect it will give us in accomplishing our goals for some of the worlds best charities. Simply follow the instructions below on how to help:

1. Go to

2. Click on “Big Give Media LLC”

3. Register if you don’t already have an “This or That” account

4. Make sure that the box saying “Big Give Media LLC” is checked to insure your vote was counted!

If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear what you think.

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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Building a sustainable business is all about how well you can gather and maintain an audience. An email list is still one of the most viable ways to do just that.

We wanted to find a way to build an email incredibly fast, in a way that people actually find interesting, engaging and well - cool. It took a lot of testing to weed-whack through all the hype and find something that really worked.

The result? We ended up building our own solution, focused around the idea of contests and rewarding people for taking the actions that ultimately led to more leads on our email list. Everyone wins (and some literally do!), because as it turns out people love contests regardless of their market place.

Click to continue…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Fine March 23, 2011 at 6:49 AM

You really need to get your facts straight.

First–homingCloud is not “a new type of mortgage broker” that is the exact opposite of what my company is trying to do. I am trying to disintermediate the broker, and give people options to go it alone.

Second- I am a 53 year old mother of 2, I barely can program, I was asleep when all these supposed odd votes came in, and yes, I do have friends who voted for me , is that a crime? I got my college aged daughter, niece and person who worked for me to get on FB to get votes– those kids were up when I was fast asleep buy 10pm since I get up to get up at 6AM to get my son off to middle school and get to work on my startup.

Third- I wouldn’t scam any system– if you knew me you would know that. I have spent my hard earned money to start up my company, done it with dignity and smarts, I don’t even know how to code, to suggest I scammed my votes is totally ABSURD. I don’t need to win the Techstars contest, and I certainly would not have cheated.

Fourth I don’t know why the numbers jumped, maybe you should have asked techstars first before you shot off your accusations. This blog is not giving me the benefit of the doubt in any way.

Tina Fine


Travis Ketchum March 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM


I’m sorry you feel that way, and perhaps I am off base. However, given the data announced by This or That and Tech Stars it is clear that some form of cheating was going on whether you were aware of it happening to your account or not. As for the personal jabs and requests from this comment, on twitter and through my contact form I will simply say that I don’t play by those rules and will just let it rest.

The delay in approval for this comment was simply a spam precaution in that if you have never before had a comment approved by me you are not allowed to have your first one visible until I manually approve it.

I’m sorry that you feel slighted, but I only have a single dataset to work with. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors.


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