Strategies to Test Business Hypothesis – 6th Meetup

February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

English: A diagram of what Simon Sinek calls '...

We had our 6th Meetup @Cafe Solon last evening. We once again had a very good turn up, around 30 people. The topic of the discussion was Strategies to Test Business Hypothesis, which was a follow up from last week’s meet topic “Business as a Hypothesis”, here are the Notes to that meetup and follow up write up. Björn Brynjar Jónsson, give a 5 minute brief talk about a topic of interest that he wanted to share with the group. The topic that he talked about was from the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. It was very interesting and inspiring. Björn talked about the Golden Circle from the book. The premise is that we tend to focus our effort our vision etc on the “What”, whereas great leaders who inspire us usually start with the “Why”, which refers to the Purpose of why we do the things we do. When we understand the purpose and communicate the purpose we can inspire people to action. He gave the example of Apple. Here is the Video of Simon talking in Tedx.http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

  • We talked about Strategies that were used in Clara to test their business model through the product Vaktarinn. Originally, Clara had not created the software that automatically sources all the digital content and provides the visualization that they do on Textual information. Gunnar explained how they got 10 of their friends to manually enter all the text from different sources into Excel Spreadsheets and then manually created the visualization look and feel on the data to validate if anyone would be interested to buy the product. Their first revenue was in selling that manual work, once they validated that idea they went on to build all the software that powers Clara Insight and Vaktarinn now. This was a quick and dirty way to see if there is a market for what you want to build. 
  • The second example was from the company Buuteeq, how the team there validated their hypothesis that Independent Hotel Owners are willing to share their contact details and everything about their hotels to a third party and host their solution on a third party platform. They validated that by creating a Hotel Directory Service for Independent Hotel Owners called Wandari.com. Not only were they able to validate that business hypothesis they also created their customer funnel which they could target and convert into actual paying customers. 
  • There was a discussion on a new business hypothesis that Safe Drivers would be willing to save money on their car insurance by allowing a tracking device to be installed in the car. We talked about how this hypothesis can be validated by just creating a web page with a simple button that says “Are you a Safe Driver? If you answered Yes, You can save 30% on your Car Insurance!” Sign up to be the First of the Safe Drivers to take advantage of the offer.” Ok, I made the actual sentences up but that is where the discussion was going!
  • The 4th business hypothesis was about non-availability of Icelandic Candy on Souvenir shops. One of the participants wanted to create a business on creating an attractive wrapper around the traditional Icelandic Candy and sell it to the Souvenir shops. The group guided her to actually pre-sell the candy to the stores with just using Digital images and depending on the demand she could build up her business. I was so happy to see how excited she was about being able to launch her business by this weekend! Entrepreneurs find the way! 
  • Kristján Freyr Kristjánsson shared the story of how they created a business to sell the Eyafjalljokul’s volcanic ash. They sold this idea while they were stranded in the airport in London, they just used digital images to create a visualization of a fancy bottle with the Ash in it and they sold it even before the product was ready. Overall a fantastic meetup and the next meetup is going to be on Pivot Stories. 

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Social Media is Not Done! It is just getting started

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Image representing TechCrunch as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

There is a lot of discussion that Social Media is done, what with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and your Mom wanting to start a social media company. I don’t think so, I think like everything else there are leaders and followers. Here is a Techcrunch article titled “Beyond Facebook: Rise of Interest-Based Social Networks” Where the main idea is that there are interest groups forming around specific areas that define the new depth in social networking. I see this possibility with many things. In my view, this is the play of the Long Tail on social media networks. There is going to be a long tail whether we like it or not, will these special interest social networks be as valuable? Not so much but they will derive value for the network that it is defined by and for new members to find them and become part of it. We have already seen this form in Photo Sharing (Instagram.com) Fitness (RunKeeper.com) Finance (StockTwists.com), Gaming (GameHub.com), etc It used to be called User Groups but then again the idea of sharing rich media has made each of these networks more value and the ability to bring the value propositions from the main stream into special interest has also made the margins more valuble. We are starting to understand how all these connection really drive value to traditional businesses as well as new businesses. We can actually measure and validate all our business hypothesis without having to spend tons of money in building things. I have written about this learning before as Validated Learning, Business as a Hypothesis, it is probably the most fascinating time to be an entrepreneur and start a new business because you have so much data to learn from. We never had that! thats why I believe we are not done yet! we are just getting started. Just think about how long it would have taken a new Mediacompany like Techcruch to get started?

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