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Leverage free apps, APIs, and web services.
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I noticed the other day that Flixster is now using Meebo for their Instant Messaging feature.

With all of the free apps, APIs, and web services out there, there’s no shame in relying on other services to build out your service.

In fact, for a start-up social network, it would be crazy not to. It’s a great, low-cost way of testing the adoption of a new feature, without the cost of building it from scratch.

Ben Huh from I Can Has Cheeseburger notes as much in a piece for ThinkVitamin, where he gives 15 tips on how to take a community to the next level, one user at a time:

#5. Stop Engineering and Start Thinking About the Market
People who work in the technology industry tend to over engineer things. Don’t complicate your problems, simplify them. If you need to add a commenting system to your site don’t build it from scratch, download one. Whatever you do, do it quickly.

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