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How should the team behind a web startup decide on having an About page? On one hand, many users tend to look for it, while on the other, there is value in disclosing as little as possible to the competition, such who the team members are.

More specifically, when should a startup who's not looking for investors, just customers, reveal who's in the team?

  • But there is a lot of value in showing what your point of different is with the rest of the competition. – Michael Lai Jul 27 '14 at 22:56
  • Do you mean an About page in general, or only the (possible) part of an About page where the involved people are presented? – unor Jul 28 '14 at 3:25
  • @unor: the part concerning the team. I've updates the question. – Dan Dascalescu Jul 28 '14 at 21:16
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It is very important for a startup to have about us page which is very concerning for potential customers, since they have to trust a startup. This is where you build confidence with customers. Being a startup you will have the advantage of addressing the crowd in much user friendly tone rather english-perfectionist. But when it comes to competitors it very important that you will have to discolse strong sides of you and supress the rest (without violating legals). All the other information supressed can be supplied to the client when you establish contract with them or even more curious clients will ask beforehand. So you will not have problem with this. Never bother about showing off in about us page especially being a startup but do not over do it.

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As most startups are technological (web,mobile apps, technologies,...) its almost necessary to have your own 'about page' with general contact information, rough description what are you doing, maybe some neat screens or design elements to catch visitors... You need it. At least if you want to reach some customers.

To be worried about stealing your ideas by competition is stupid.

  • Please qualify what you mean by 'stupid', preferably in a less hostile tone. – kwah Jul 27 '14 at 14:00
  • Yea sure. I didn't mean it as offense. I think it is stupid because you will always have some competitors and doesn't metter how much you try but they will be alway able to reach info about what you are doing. The better strategy IMHO is to present yourself loud enough and do things good enough. I know dozens of startups with awesome ideas but they're not able to sell them (by many reasons). Sum it up, web page can brings you only benefits. But as I said. This is topic for discusion. :-) I'm curious about other opinions. – Michal Jul 27 '14 at 14:25
  • no offense, but calling something/one stupid without meaning any offense is pretty stupid – njzk2 Jun 3 '15 at 15:51
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In my (rather limited) experience, the strongest 'about me' pages share a more general overview about the business and the people involved -- as opposed to commercially-sensitive details of specific products and features.

Try designing your focusing on what it is that makes you different.

What, specifically, is it that makes you stand out from the other n-thousand other web-startups?

  • values and core 'motivators' within the startup..?
  • interesting details about the people and the personalities involved..?
  • (product details..?)

.. and is it worth bragging about / presenting to the world...?

What is the purpose of you putting up an 'about' page?

  • to give devs/founding-fathers etc some public recognition..?
  • to provide a unique angle/value-add to push sales..?
  • to create a connection with users of your web-app..?

Create that connection..

I suggest that if you can present a set of values on which a potential customer can connect and think 'these guys (and girls!) seem like folks I can connect with and work well with', this potential customer will be much more receptive to contacting you to get more information (in the same way that a CV's intention is to pique interest and gain an interview, not to get you the job outright).

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If you don't want to present information for legal/fear of competition reasons then don't show it. For example if I didn't want to disclose my street address but I did want to show my email address then I wouldn't trash the entire contact page. I would have a contact page but only show my email address on there.

What i'm getting at is if your homepage doesn't communicate enough information on what you do/who you are then have an about page, because users will no doubt look for it. Then only show the information you are comfortable showing. Don't give away specific secrets to the competition, maybe be vague but give away enough as to show who you are.

Example

If you are software development company but don't want to shout about the projects you are working on then put:

"We are a [complimentary verbs here] Software Development company working on some [complimentary verbs here] projects. To find out more get in touch [link to contact page]"

What use is your website if you don't tell anyone who you are or what you do?

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