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What Digital Generation are You?


So I was poking around the internet today and I was searching on digital trends and stumbled on a website called Strategy&A lot of the site seems focused on business and technology and the inter-relations thereof.  There is a lot of information on the digitization of our world and the trends that are being set as a result.  Now I know most of those who read this probably don’t need a road map (perhaps I should have said GPS) to tell them that our world is becoming ever-increasingly digitized. However, something I found fascinating to think about was that the mid – to latter part of my own millennial generation and those that have come and will come after, have grown up entirely in a connected, digital world.

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Do you have the right business model?

I myself have struggled with the thought of coming up with an innovative product in which I can build a business around.  However, after reading the article 7 Steps for Establishing the Right Business Model by Martin Zwilling, I discovered that creating a business is not all about the discovery of an innovative product.  Instead it is equally important to develop a proper business model that focuses on pricing, messaging, and target audiences.  In some cases, new businesses focus so much on the product that when it comes time to follow through with the selling of the product, the company ends up failing.

In order to prevent your start-up from failing, realize it too takes time to establish a business plan for your product.  There are in fact seven steps which can be taken to formulate a proper business model.

  1. Determine your product’s value. It is important to strike a balance of price so that you are compensated for your work, but at a price in which is standard with your competition and demographic.  Part of this price includes estimating your costs.  Generally a 50% gross margin is a standard for the lower bound.
  2. Make sure your product solves a problem.  The best way to determine if your product solves a problem is to have people use the product first hand.  This in itself is risky, so it is recommended issuing the product in a test market.
  3. Build a channel and support system.  Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the concept of a pitch, but building your channel involves a little more depth.  Full in-depth knowledge of not only your product, but your marketing, pricing, maintenance, and distribution is required to successfully engage your focus group.
  4. Inquire from industry experts.  Going into a business can be intimidating and there can be many times where you are unsure of what to do.  The best thing to do in this situation is to ask an expert in you industry.  Some industries even offer advisory boards to help and even provide new opportunities.
  5. Have a soft launch or pilot.  Launching your product in a test environment limits the costs and allows for maximum recovery.  This gives you the opportunity to test out the product’s costs, quality, and pricing.
  6. Collect customer references.  One of the best ways of marketing is through word of mouth and customer references fall in this line.  Customer references are a great way of achieving new clients.
  7. Attends national trade shows.  National trade shows provide you as opportunity to market your product as well as catch up on ideas.  It also conveys a sense of credibility towards your business.

Starting a business is not all about the product, and at some points can be the main focus.  When thinking of a start-up, it is important to always keep in mind the overall plan or business model.  This model should be well thought out or even your beautifully designed product will fail.


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Using Apps to Revive Old Trends

Over the past century people have changed… a lot. One of the areas where this is most evident is in the daily habits of how we choose to intake information. Information gateways are rapidly changing, and the differences are even radical in my lifetime (22 years). Therefore, it is crucial for a business in any industry really, to understand the trends of how people are breaking down their daily habits.

Jennifer Lee, and her team of founders, noticed the specific trend of how people generally like to serialize their leisure activities. For example, way more people are willing to sit down and watch an episode of a tv show, as an installment of a series, rather than sit down for two hours to watch a movie. Simply put, people today prefer information in “bytes”. What Lee, and the co-founders of the app Rooster, noticed is that this trend is deterring people from reading books. So what they decided to do was to start putting reading into a form of “episodes”. This isn’t a new idea though. The concept dates back to Victorian England, where many popular works were delivered in installments, when books were considered a luxury. The Rooster app will deliver fictional works in fifteen minute “episodes” that are formatted to enable the reader to enjoy each section and easily understand the story as a whole, like a tv show. The app costs $4.99/month.

Using her app, Lee hopes to bring back reading a mainstream leisure activity again. In her market research she noted that less than half of American adults had read at least one work of literature in 2012. This is a trend that she hopes to reverse by appealing to the societal trends of information intake. I think her app is a nice idea, and is looking to modernize an antiquated activity – reading books – by appealing to the cultural shifts. Using the iPhone as her medium, she is targeting the 25% of Americans who are moving their daily habits to Apple’s digital/mobile platform. Perhaps this will change the way people read, and help to bring daily reading back to the masses.

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Challenges of Starting a new website Part 2 (solution)

In my previous Post Challenges of Starting a new website Part 1.  I talked about my new website My Weekend Trip Planner and how difficult it is to get your website discovered.  It is very difficult to get that initial traffic to the sight especially because SEO is really hurt by the fact that the site is so new. It is important to build the traffic to your site at least initially through other sources then just search engine.  These ways can be things like word or mouth or paid advertisements.  One of the ways I have found that works the best is social media.  Social media is extremely important especially for discovering a website.  You need to use social media to create a buzz for example on My Weekend Trip Planner when I launched the site I changed my status on Facebook to announce the launch of my new site.  I also tweeted it.  I received 30 visits from that in 4 hours.  This is perfect example of you can use social media to tell people about your site hopefully they will then tell their friends and the result can be viral.  This will then increase the likely hood people liking to you and before you know have a powerful website.

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Challenges of Starting a new website Part 1

I just recently built a site for this class called My Weekend Trip Planner.  It is a great website and I think you should check it out on a side note. Upon completing the site I realized that there are definitely a lot of challenges that need to be overcome in order for your website to be successful. Take my website My Weekend Trip Planner, it is a website tells people about great weekend trips that are located right next to them.  These trips are meant to be affordable and for people that can’t use vacation days. I think this is viral idea and it has a lot of potential.

The Problems

The Problem is having people find your website.  The internet is a big place and there are literally millions of website out there.  How is Google going to find you how are you going to be found.  SEO is essential, but when a website is created it has a lot of disadvantage that really hurt it SEO.  First, Google like sites that have existed for awhile.  This makes sense because Google wants to make sure that the website is some fake that was just created to rick people.  Another huge problem s since you were just created you obviously don’t have any links.  Links are the currency of the web.  It is essential to have a lot of links to your website this will really boost Google’s image of your site, but that takes time, but if no one knows you exist how are they going to link to you.  Finally a news site doesn’t have a lot of content because it was just created.  These are all issues that really devastate a website.  In my next blog I will talk about possible solutions to help get your site discovered.


PS You should visit My Weekend Trip Planner and submit a vacation.

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