38 new companies face curse of Silicon 60

You may have heard of the Sports Illustrated Cover Curse: It states that any athlete featured on the cover will immediately experience a rapid decline in skill and accomplishment.

What you may not have heard of is a similar curse in the electronics industry: The curse of the EE TIMES Silicon 60

Peter Clarke compiles the list irregularly after evaluation by the UBM Tech editorial team.  Most of the companies identified since it started in 2004 have disappeared from the earth. The curse goes beyond the list, though. There is a reason for it, and it has nothing to do with UBM or the list itself.

Back when I owned a PR agency, many of my clients expressed a desire to be included on this list.  I never really quite understood why.  There are a lot of startups that seek to make the list, and all other media coverage as a validation of their business model or technology.   Companies that make the list trumpet the achievement, for several years, before they disappear altogether.  Basically, it’s because they have nothing else to say. And if they have nothing else to say, they disappear.

Getting a meeting with a B2B editor is relatively easy for a startup.  They all want to talk to you if they are getting a scoop.  If someone else wrote a story about you, forget it.  If they ever wrote about you before, you'll probably never get them to write another... unless you have something important to say.  


That's what makes a Silicon 60 listing so dangerous. Many of the companies have had some mention before by a UBM Tech editor and have been lurking in the wings for some time when the press finally decides to pay attention.  Once they are listed, however, they have to really deliver on the promise and there likely will not be a single follow-up story about them until they do.  That's the way modern B2B media works.

Content marketing is generally thought to be an answer to that problem.  Become your own publisher and tell the story you want told.  But like the B2B media, you have to figure out if the story you want to tell is what your customer wants to read.  Journalists are generally better at figuring that out than you are.  That's why they won't write anything more about you once the story has already been done.  Repetition doesn't build readership.  If the press has already told the story you want to tell, your customer won't care anymore.

Forrester recently put out the results of a survey that showed only 14 percent of marketers found their content marketing programs are highly effective.  That seems to fly in the face of the Content Marketing Institute's research that says 75 percent of marketers are highly satisfied with the results of their programs until you realize the qualifier in the latter study: the marketers that are satisfied are those with a content marketing STRATEGY.  And according to CMI, less than 5 percent of marketers are working on content strategically.

So what is a Content Marketing Strategy? I'll make it simple for you.  It's making sure that your content is engaging your audience, not your CEO.  The real challenge is, everyone thinks they already know what content will engage their customers, but the Forrester survey proves that most don’t.  What’s really needed is an outside view to help you see the broader picture when determining your strategy.

 If any of the Silicon 60 companies accept that truth, they just might survive the curse.

Need help figuring out what your content strategy should be?  Give us a call or send an email and we’ll help you figure it out.  It’s what we do.  In fact, I’ll even throw out a limited time offer.  We’ll give away a FREE 30 minute strategy session to the first 10 people who contact us at 650-366-8212 or click here.