It’s exciting to see many startups going after big markets like transportation, food, and health. They’re much larger than the typical markets of software – IT budgets or advertising budgets. A good related read on the topic of Total Addressable Market comes from Hunter Walk. Just as important as Total Addressable Market is Frequently Addressable Market (FAM). You may be going after a big market, but the real question is the frequency in which your market buys your product. Here’s why it’s just as important and how to think about it: Lack of frequency leaves you open to competitors stealing the customer you introduced to the market Lets say that you get someone to download your app, use your service, and even pay for it. That’s great and the first step to building a business, but if they never come back again, they’re a one and done customer. If Uber…Continue Reading
Over the past month or so, many have had issue with Twitter and how they’re turning on startups like Meerkat and Datasift. Though it’s unfortunate, these companies are run by smart individuals and they likely never planned to be too dependent on Twitter. The issue isn’t about being too dependent on one platform as this is the exception, not the rule for most startups. The real issue is preventing your company from having the bulk of its distribution concentrated in one source. What does this mean? As a startup, your customers are going to come from many different places. For example, it might include – search (SEO), viral channels, public relations, direct sales, 2 sided referrals and many more. In the beginning, you’re going to want to focus in on one or two channels at most, as you can only focus on so many resources. Over time, you’re going to…Continue Reading
I think local discovery is one of the big software problems we haven’t solved yet. The problem is akin to this – Google helps you find what you need online by putting in a parameter and drives traffic to the online world. No one has perfectly cracked the nut of find what you need in the real world by entering in a parameter and therefore driving traffic to the real world. Approximately 5% of spend is done online, yet 95% of spend is done offline, so through that lens we’re looking a pretty worthy problem. With everyone now having a smartphone in their pocket, it’s a problem we need to see solved. PCs helped us find and make things happen in the digital world (Google), smartphones help us find and make things happen in the real world (Uber). Below are some of the problems I see: Not enough intent data…Continue Reading
As long as beacons require an app, that you probably don't have, there's a fundamental chicken-and-egg problem. — Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) January 12, 2015 Benedict Evans had a good tweet earlier today and expressed my biggest concern about iBeacons – it’s a chicken and egg game. In order to trigger a notification to a consumer about an iBeacon, they have to have the corresponding app installed. That’s a tremendous chicken and egg problem from multiple angles: If an app exists for a location, many won’t have it downloaded I shop at many different stores on a regular basis, but I rarely have their apps installed – Whole Foods is a great example. A user’s home screen is valuable real estate and they’re likely to only have a ~20 apps on the home screen. Each retailer isn’t just competing with other retailers, they’re competing with Instagram and Snapchat. I don’t see…Continue Reading
I’m a big believer in the thesis that software is eating the world. One main driver is the fact that software is so much cheaper to produce and now there are billions, not millions of devices. Those factors don’t describe the core product change that is happening though. When people hear software is eating the world, they think that it means software is being created for every industry. That’s actually nothing new. You could look back to the 80s and find niche software for many industries.   What’s really happening is that we’re shifting from software being created for 3rd parties, but software being created for 1st party use by a startup that wants to replace incumbents on the Fortune 500.  It sounds crazy, but the hotel and taxi industries were upended in approximately five years.  What is a 3rd party software startup? 3rd party software is when you create a piece…Continue Reading