Maureen Farrel Thinks Hashable Is Ready To Explode

Mike YavonditteNot literally, but the way Foursquare and Twitter did in the aftermath of previous SXSWs. Doing something remotely connected to social media these days (especially if your work address is in the Big Apple) always inspires the pseudo-existential question: “Is [enter startup here] the next billion dollar company?” Maureen Farrel spent 90 minutes pondering such matters with Mike Yavonditte, who is no stranger to the New York Tech Blog. (Read up on his Hashable here and here.)

The big news comes in pairs. First, Mike has no idea if 2011 will be solid gold for Hashable and second, the same Hashable has finally exited its invitation-only beta cocoon last week to embrace the rest of the world. Allowing for a moment’s update, Hashable first came to the attention of the technology press with its hash tags and its hash cred features. Hashable patrons use the former to earn the latter. In more precise terms,  your little ecosystem of social networking activity gets you connected with other Hashable enthusiasts. It’s like business cards without the requisite card exchange.

Since Hashable just hosted a party at SXSW on top off paying for 15 of its lucky users to enjoy the same, Yavonditte is making the most despite his cautious optimism about how fast Hashable can grow. From Maureen Farrel’s one-on-one (conducted at Hashable HQ, NYC):

“Yavonditte understands how hard it will be to convert millions of users. ‘There’s a war going on for people’s attention,’ he says. Winning that war will come from simplifying the product, he predicts. ‘The key to getting customer traction is removing a button and cutting a service down to key essentials. This year is about optimization and removing things and making the service smaller and easier to understand,’ he says. ‘Hypergrowth will come when we simplify the service.’”

Via: Forbes