Riding the hype-train to launch your startup faster

  • The hype-train, and noticing trends
  • Finding new business ideas for an aftermarket
  • Building for a platform, rather than a standalone product.
  • What are the risks of platforms/aftermarkets?
  • A real case study from my own experience: Power BI version control

The hype-train will not wait for you

Are hot trends particular to the tech sector?

  1. The internet becomes popular around the 2000s
  2. Facebook is launched
  3. Smartphones are launched
  4. Smartphone apps linked to social media become possible
  • Internet of Things
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Voice assistants
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Wearable tech
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Business Intelligence
  • and more

Exploring aftermarkets

  • The app store is an aftermarket for apps built for smartphones, like Instagram
  • Facebook is an aftermarket for apps built to work with their APIs, like FarmVille/Zynga games
  • Salesforce/Slack/Stripe enable an aftermarket for apps sold in their marketplaces

The pros and cons of basing your business idea in an aftermarket

  • If the aftermarket is new, there may still be valuable ideas that haven’t been capitalized yet, i.e. a flashlight app for iPhone in 2007
  • You can build a product that specializes in the platform. E.g. if you sell on Shopify, an accounting software product could automatically read/process financial data from your store
  • Your target customers presumably hang out on a specific place (e.g. LinkedIn groups) and there may be efficient ways of reaching out
  • If the platform is growing, you will grow with it — this is called riding the wave. I.e. as Facebook become more popular, third-party apps like FarmVille grew alongside it.
  • The platform may eventually offer to buy your company at a high valuation if it fits it’s strategic goals
  • If the platform goes bust, your business dies
  • The platform may compete with you. I.e. Amazon has been known to create their own lines of products to compete with high-profit items sold by merchants on their online store.
  • The platform may change their terms and conditions, functionality, or other aspect that makes your business non-viable overnight. I.e. Instagram has shut down plenty of auto-follow apps
  • The platform may not open up all the necessary data/APIs/functionality necessary for a third-party developer to create a viable product.

A case study: Power BI version control

  • Is Microsoft likely to go bust, burying the prospects of a Power BI version control tool? I don’t think so
  • Is Power BI likely to be discontinued? The opposite is true. Power BI is growing. Plenty of data supports this.
  • What if Microsoft develops version control for Power BI internally? This would destroy our idea. This is a valid concern

Conclusion

  1. You identify the trends you want to pay attention to
  2. Assess existing demand for features/products that are missing in a new aftermarket
  3. Validate the viability of your idea, and hopefully launch a successful product!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store