When you have an online business model, it has to be unique and creative, especially when you are in the social space. Your revenue, operational and overall business models are necessary but they become somewhat secondary when compared to the basic purpose and offering of the site. What is your sites proposition to the online user? How are you intending to keep them engaged with it? What is the high point of the engagement (a.k.a. Satisfaction)?
When I see a site that simply borrows an idea from another site, it does not anger me. In fact it makes me curious as to why someone would spend their time, effort and money on something as insane as this. Perhaps I might be wrong and need to understand it better. Perhaps.
I came across a new site online, psocial.in
First look and the first word that comes to your mind is Pinterest. Why? because it is Pinterest … I mean, the same concept. The site talks about being a ‘interest based open network’. First of all, anything that is social based is an open network. And interest groups are nothing new, and I don’t need to point at a pinterest to say that.
Don’t try to do a Samsung for the sake of attempting a Samsung. Samsung got lucky because of two major factors. One being its own innovation in hardware and short product cycle. And two, they had Google by their side. Even if we keep the patent aspect of the argument aside, its their own competency that got them ahead of the rest.
I do not intend to compare pSocial with Pinterest to highlight the similarities. Nor do I intend to rant about pSocial. I think every business ultimately gets what they deserve. It’s a bloody red ocean out there.
Ok, here is what I am going to do. Here are some thing you should and should not do (a mix) when thinking of the next big idea to kick-start a startup.
- Your revenue model should come out at first look. I think that’s very important. Be it through ads being displayed or through sponsors or curated content. Look at Facebook, it never really thought about revenue for too long only to realize that it got caught in its own web of social privacy.
- Keep you idea fresh and unique. There are bound to be some similarities but then the u.s.p should be the offering and not the up-sell.
- Know your target users well. Don’t keep thing generic expecting to figure out your target audience later. If needed, try in target niche groups. there are plenty of sites that are similar to Pinterest. Here is an article that points out 15 of them. I came across another that spotted some 50 sites. Some of these sites probably would not last long but there are quite a few of them targeting a completely different set of users.
- Put in creative though into the design of the site. Please don’t just make it look like a ripoff.
- And please ensure that you have rich content and genuine users on the site. Open the site to a closed group of users and have them use it to give you not only feedbacks but also the much needed content when the site gets launched.
Best wishes to every one genuinely trying to create footprint on the web.