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PROTIP from Kevin Rose: Compete, Don’t Play Catch up

Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg.com, recently offered up a nice reminder in Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” series. In a video response to the question, “What is your biggest regret with Digg?” Rose admitted to a couple of missteps, including Digg version 4 as well as the Digg Bar. “A lot of those calls were made for reasons that were not really true to the [Digg] community,” he said. “As the founder and the creator of something you should always go with your gut and trust your instincts. That was something that later down the road at Digg…the motivations for creating some of the features weren’t playing to our audience, and to my gut, but more just trying to play catch up.”

We’re all learning that playing catch up to a world of innovation that’s moving faster than we’ve ever seen isn’t realistic. You can’t just copy the popular guy and think that it’s going to go over well with your existing community– those people are your advocates for a reason, and success is about finding out what that reason is, and pivoting around both it and your convictions.

Rose summed it up nicely: “In hindsight we should have really focused on the tools and improving the community that we already had, rather than trying to go after an audience that we knew nothing about.”

Check out the video responses in all of their glory here.