Former Sun CEO Uses Twitter – And Only Twitter – To Launch Startup

Somebody really loves Twitter. The former co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy, is using only Twitter to spread the word (or at least, the tweet) about his latest, mysterious, startup WayIn.

In an unconventional marketing strategy, McNealy has stripped down the company website for WayIn to next to nothing. Curious visitors are greeted by a logo and a two line welcome message that includes a link to a contact form and several engineer/developer job openings. Other than that, the page is devoid of information – aside from the two Twitter accounts that will update interested parties on the upcoming launch.

McNealy has elected to use both the WayIn Twitter account (@WayIn) and his own account (@ScottMcNealy) to promote the startup. And so far his unconventional methods are generating quite a bit of buzz.

McNealy used his Twitter account on Wednesday to do a live Q&A session to answer questions about WayIn. He started with a pretty indirect answer to a pretty direct question: “so what exactly is Wayin?”:

“We’re gonna kick butt (make $) & have fun, but w/ a cause to leave planet better off than we found it, try not to do evil, but no promises.”

McNealy went on to say that it has an educational angle that teachers will use, but it is much broader than just this alone. All-in-all, the answers probably left participants more confused about WayIn than when they started, as he refused to give any juicy details.

VentureBeat suggests that McNealy is able to excite such a buzz about his new startup using only Twitter because he is already a known and respected figure in the tech world, and I agree up to a point. It does make it easier for him to rely on Twitter, as he already has a dedicated following. However, I think this strategy could be emulated by any creative startup that was willing to put the work in to use Twitter to its max and get the word out about their business.

What do you think? Smart strategy? Or is he cutting himself off from other lucrative marketing channels unnecessarily?