The Power of Extensions and the Dangers of Early Hype in Startups


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Extensions and the Dangers of Early Hype in Startups


In today's digital age, the use of extensions has become increasingly popular. These tools offer a range of functionalities that enhance our online experience, from organizing information to improving productivity. However, it's important to remember that extensions alone do not make us better writers or more successful individuals. The true power lies in our ideation and creative skills, which can only be honed through practice and continuous learning.

Harnessing the Power of Extensions:

One noteworthy extension is Glasp, a social web highlighter that allows users to highlight and organize quotes and thoughts from the web. Its social features enable users to connect with like-minded individuals and access their highlights and notes, making it a valuable tool for personal knowledge management (PKM). Additionally, Glasp serves as a library for special interests and a source of inspiration for upcoming articles. By leveraging these extensions, we can streamline our research process and stay organized in our digital pursuits.

The Danger of Early Hype in Startups:

For consumer startups, the allure of hype is undeniable. Hype refers to the moment when the perception of a startup's significance expands ahead of its lived reality. While hype can catapult a startup to success when applied at the right moment, it can also lead to its downfall if employed prematurely. Take the example of on-demand marketplaces like Uber and DoorDash, which utilized subsidies to fuel their growth. While subsidies can be effective in jumpstarting a company, they can also blind entrepreneurs to potential weaknesses in their business models.

Hype operates similarly to a subsidy on engagement in a consumer social network. It creates an aura of significance and inevitability, enticing users to invest their time and engagement in a platform. Consumers engage in status-seeking behaviors, driven by the expectation of future rewards or the desire to be part of the next big thing. However, this can be a double-edged sword for startups. Hype can distort reality, making it difficult to gauge consumers' true engagement levels once the hype subsidy is removed. This can result in a misalignment of optimization efforts and a subsequent decline in user experience.

The Importance of Timing:

It is crucial for startups to exercise caution when it comes to hype. Premature hype can doom a network because it hinders the ability to accurately assess consumer behavior post-subsidy. By optimizing for the wrong metrics, startups risk encountering an air pocket once the hype subsidy drops to zero. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid hype until a product has achieved product-market fit (PMF). This allows startups to build a solid foundation, optimize their flywheel, and prepare for sustainable growth.

The Power of Underestimation:

Being underestimated can be a startup's secret weapon. It provides time and space to refine ideas, develop a strong product, and gain traction. Many successful companies, such as Pinterest, Robinhood, and Etsy, were initially perceived as niche or underestimated by the industry. This underestimation allowed them to fly under the radar of incumbents, enabling them to build a loyal user base before competitors realized their potential. By strategically timing the use of hype after achieving PMF, startups can catalyze incumbents' reactions instead of being blindsided by them.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on honing your ideation and creative skills: While extensions can be valuable tools, they are no substitute for personal growth as a writer or professional. Dedicate time to practice, learn, and expand your creative horizons to become the best version of yourself.
  • 2. Prioritize product-market fit over hype: Avoid the temptation to generate hype prematurely. Instead, concentrate on developing a strong product that resonates with your target audience. Only after achieving PMF should you consider leveraging hype to accelerate growth.
  • 3. Embrace underestimation as an advantage: Use the element of surprise to your advantage. By staying under the radar and building a solid foundation, you can establish a loyal user base before competitors take notice. This gives you a competitive edge and increases your chances of long-term success.


Extensions offer a range of functionalities that can enhance our online experience, but they are not a guaranteed path to success. True growth and achievement come from within, through continuous learning, creative ideation, and diligent practice. Additionally, while hype can be enticing, it is important for startups to exercise caution and avoid premature hype. By focusing on product-market fit, strategically timing the use of hype, and leveraging underestimation, startups can position themselves for long-term success in an ever-evolving digital landscape. Remember, the key to success lies not solely in the tools we use, but in our ability to harness their power and combine it with our unique insights and talents.

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