Last evening I was browsing through some YouTube videos and I struck on an interesting observation. There was a singer who had sung popular Bollywood songs from the 80s and there was another singer who was inventing his own music and singing to his own original compositions. Let’s call these two singers A and B respectively. Interestingly, the Singer A had thousands times more views than Singer B. Why? Because people were already searching for their favourite 80s song and possibly stumbled on the video of this singer A and liked it. But no one knows of singer B and thus no one saw his video.
Now this is a really cool thing to learn. If you want to start something, make something people want to see and then maybe pivot later to something what you actually wanted to make.
Ask this to an artist. He would tell you how his fan-art around Games of Thrones sells much more than his original work which he worked so hard on. This isn’t fair but this is how it is. And we startups need to digest this. I understand that a lot of you want to create your own cool products.
But why not start with something that people really want. If you make what people really want, you will get immediate views and revenue. You can then use it to pump in your business. We ourselves have used our services revenue fund our original product lines like Ved and Varun.
But how do you identify what is it that people want? See what people are buying. For example if you are launching a T-shirt brand, sit and analyse on top e-commerce websites on what kind of T-shirts are actually bestsellers, how many reviews they have, what kind of reviews are people writing. Are there more sales on designer T-shirts or on quotation T-shirts or plain ones. Use this analysis to build your product.
If you are in a completely new domain then you may consider surveying the people who are likely to buy your products — ie your potential clients. If you are in B2B tech product, call up a friend who works at a potential client company and explain him your offering and see what’s his feedback.
If you have any queries, write to Rajeev@TBSPlanet.com
The writer is IIT-R Alumnus, Entrepreneur of The Year’17 (Print Business) and the Founder of TBS Planet Comics