If you start out by being Everything for Everyone, you end up being Nothing for No one.
There are seven billion people on the planet. Half of them have smartphones. Half of those buy Products. That’s almost 2 billion people.
Since people all have the same basic desires, if something appeals to everyone, then that is sure to be a hit, right? Go for the biggest amount of users, right off the bat.
Wrong, most of the time.
Far too many people want to start out with a product that does every thing for everyone. Make sense, there are two billion people in the world who have smartphones, so that’s a big market.
Trying to tap into such a huge mar ket right away is almost impossible because competition, economies of scale, and market research generally do not favor smaller developers.
Plus it’s hard to build a product that works for everyone.
But there is a way you can put your size and scope to work for you in ways bigger companies and organisations cannot.
Start small and then grow.
We learned from Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans that the most effective strategy for building a product is to structure it around a core group of true fans who share a desire or interest.
This number should be about 1,000 people. 1,000 people is a reasonable amount for a number of fans, and supporting them is a manageable figure for a small startup and a digital product to handle.
Focusing on this relatively small number is precisely why you will succeed.
Because of their size, big companies and organisations cannot reach these groups, as the amount they’d have to spend to engage them is more than they would make from them.
That’s where you come in. These groups are chronically underserved, and hungry for technology or tools that can unite them or give them the experience they crave.
These are the people that become the true fans of your product, the ones who will be hungry for your updates and the content and functions it can provide. Build a product for that niche of people.
Once that niche is satisfied, look at your product and do some analysis. Why did it work? What features were popular? Did it give a competitive advantage or appeal to a specific user base?
Careful analysis should reveal how to monetise their engagement, which you can turn into Version 2 of your product, and then expand your user base and increase your revenue, and so on.
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