Topic: More Research
Let’s recap from the last chapter…I officially decided that I wanted to divulge in the college recruiting niche using the internet industry. In other words, my idea was refined to a social place for students and colleges to connect with each other. With hindsight, making a pitch for the idea seems easy now, but at that time it took me at least a paragraph to explain the idea. (I will discuss my detailed process for making a pitch within a later article)
“A pitch is typically a short statement that clearly explains your idea or business”
Unfortunately, reaching a small milestone is no reason to slow down as the real work was yet to come. Now, I had to actually start the product development stage (at the time I was unaware how many times I would be revisiting this stage in my startup process). Typically, in the past it was easier to get investments from just an idea. It is my belief that after the tech bubble bursts an oversaturation of startups will follow; thus, raising the bar for getting investments. Seeking an investment is normally the end goal for most entrepreneurs. Unless you have a rich uncle to fund your project, then having a successful prototype or preferably a MVP is the best way to get money. “If you build it, success will come” these are the illustrious words of advice from a university colleague of mine that build a year-long study aboard program in Brazil by herself.
“Build it, launch it, and then let investors stalk you”
My next step was to conduct more research about website designing and start developing ‘intel’ on my competitors. To be frank, I did not get the full benefit in studying your competition at the time. I just wanted to see how they built their website so I could get ideas for my own. In the midst of my investigation, I discovered my main competitors and ended up studying them to ensure they operated within a different niche or market. In order to study them efficiently, I made a competitor chart that highlighted the most important business factors to perform a strategic analysis.
“Factors include: Problems they solve, solutions to problems, target market, business strategy”
My next step was to start the preliminary designs for the website design and functionality. One flaw, but a splash of reality was the lack of a technology factor on my team. It is a good idea to establish a foundation for your startup and having a well balanced team to support different facets of the business will determine how far in the startup cycle your business will develop.
Evidently, it was a lacking in my networks and resources but I simply could not inspire anyone to join my endeavors. Consequently, I had to learn and research everything on my own and hope to recruit people once I built enough credibility. Days passed as I made a special effort to bookmark and critique well-built websites to analyze their individual features.
“Until you build a website you will never truly appreciate a good one”
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