VCs, pitches and my mom in Georgia

I often get PR pitches that go something like this:

Laurie,

We think you’d be interested in covering _____. It’s a ____ service that changes the way we ____.

Awesome. Sometimes these services are really interesting, and sometimes they do change the way we _____. 

But ever so often, I can’t help but think: Would my mom back in Georgia care? Moreover, would my friends who live far outside the tech bubble be interested? So many times the tech world is a step ahead of behavior people will eventually adopt (mobile payments, location sharing). But sometimes I want to scream: “Really?”

I’m currently writing a story on GroupMe, a group text messaging startup that received tons of VC money and is currently enjoying valuation estimates in the $20-$30 million range. When I spoke to Betaworks co-founder and GroupMe investor Andy Weissman, he was excited about the startup because it hit the “my mom in Georgia” factor.

"It’s a good idea that would appeal to normal people,"  Weissman said.

I told him about my “mom down in Georgia” theory, and he says he uses a similar one called “my dad back in Florida.”

So, well done, GroupMe! My mom down in Georgia and Andy’s dad back in Florida are fans. Mom also uses Groupon. And weren’t there rumors of a $6 billion price tag?

So maybe the ‘rents are on to something. -Laurie

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