By Kyle Austin
If I had a nickel for every time a startup asked us if we could get Jessica Alba to help promote the launch of their product, well, I’d probably have about nickel. I’ve always wanted to have the pleasure of telling them that they’d have a better chance of dating Jessica Alba then actually getting her to promote their product – which leaves it at a zero percent likelihood. Unless of course you’re Cash ($) Warren and Jessica Alba is your fiancée.
IBeatYou.com launched on Monday with celebrity fanfare as actor Cash Warren, a co-founder of the startup and NBA All-Star Baron Davis, an angel investor in the project, gave the media a first look at their live Website. They were also assisted in creating buzz by Jessica Alba who has taken a liking to IBeatYou’s contests (Although we’re not sure how much prodding it took from Cash).
Eric Eldon of VentureBeat took a look at the launch of the Website on Monday:
IBeatYou is a web site launching today where any user can make up a contest, like “Best Group Lip Dub” or “Best Beard,” then submit entries and compete with others to be voted the winner.Of course, sites from MySpace to YouTube already are talent contests of sorts — the best underground musicians get big (and get discovered) through MySpace; the most entertaining video creators get lots of page-views through YouTube. MySpace itself grew big through being a way for fans to interact with celebrities. So the fact that Alba, the fiancee of cofounder Cash Warren, spends hours on the site could bring in more users early on.
However Om Malik over at Giga Om had a far less impressive picture of the startup and wondered if the addition of celebrities into the Web 2.0 mix signifies the beginning of the end of the most recent tech boom in a post titled “Another Celebrity Launches a Video Site! Is the End Near?”
Om is starting to sound morbid in his assessment of the tech scene lately:
I am beginning to see some troubling signs and celebrity sightings. Sure, things are not quite as crazy as 2000, but I am of the belief that history does repeat itself. Liz writes about IBeatYou.com, a video/social network/contest site being started by Baron Davis of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. I am doubtful this is going to be a big success, but I have been wrong before.
Valleywag, KillerStartups.com and People also briefly covered the launch. My take is that it was a fairly impressive launch for a start-up based in Santa Monica; If only it was an average startup. With the stars they had to leverage, where was the feature in the New York Times with Brooks Barnes or with Sarah McBride in the Wall Street Journal? Where’s the digital exclusive with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch? Instead you had Om Malik writing the obituary to IBeatYou.com at its birth.
Baron, my boy, I know you can build a buzz better then anyone and it’s great to have TMZ come by the new company digs. You’re by far my favorite basketball player not wearing a Celtics uniform. You may even be better at roller skating then Rojan Rondo. However, we need to get you in front of the technology media that are going to put you on the map and drive up your acceptance and evaluation in technology circles.