PLUM: Connecting to Like-Minded People

People Like You and Me: PLUM. (Roll with it. The “you” is “u,” alla shorthand texting before autocorrect fixed that for you.) Russell Cowdrey pitched his “flip the switch” on your data concept to the 1 Million Cups audience on Wednesday, February 17. What does that mean? Instead of having your electronic data work against you to sell you stuff, you’re leveraging it to connect you with like-minded people.

Cowdrey brings his background in market research and behavioral analytics to create a web app and Chrome plugin to help you auto-create groups based on your browsing history. (If this is creeping you out, don’t let it. PLUM is looking to create what they call a “no data” option where the user decides what information they want to share vs. the firehose of your browser — phew!)

There was a lot of discussion about privacy, transparency, data stealing, revenue models, and how this differs from Google+ and/or other new-age social media platforms. For one, PLUM does not allow you to share multimedia files with your new connections; the platform is for those word-based discussions and conversations … so meme-convos and solo emojis won’t fly. When asked about customer acquisition, Cowdrey really showed his stripes. The short-answer is groups (i.e., Churches) and brands (i.e., Nike). Remember, Cowdrey has a market research and behavioral analytics background and fundamentally recognizes that brands and communities need to interact with end-users. The user experience was a little fuzzy (even though there were two videos within the six-minute pitch), but the value proposition to these groups couldn’t have been clearer:

PLUM, for brands, could facilitate conversations with directly affiliated or indirectly associated advocates.

By listening to Cowdrey’s pitch, and getting a little confused, the community learned a few things:

  • You can’t be everything to everyone, so be clear about what you’re pitching.
  • Don’t be afraid to leverage your background to form your business case.
  • Just because you built it doesn’t mean that customers will flock to join, download or buy it.

Looking to plump (ha!) up your networking skills? Or catch up on the latest in the community? Check out 1 Million Cups every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at the DEC. While you’re there, sign-up for a mentoring session to get some free (yes, free!) pitch/business feedback from one of the community mentors. You never know who you’ll meet!

Photo by Pixabay

Debra Swersky

Debra has spent her career building, scaling, and managing operations in start-up organizations. Companies such as Inside Sports & Entertainment Group, SCVNGR/LevelUp, Visible Measures, and High Start Group have used Debra’s enterprising energy to facilitate their exponential growth.