Topic: Idea Epiphany
To begin a new chapter, a recap highlighting the state of the website at the beginning of 2014 is shown below:
To most people (non-entrepreneurs) the notion of someone taking a proactive approach to control their career through entrepreneurship is a laughable feat. For the most part they don’t take you seriously, especially if you mention that you are on a break from that entrepreneurship goal. Sometimes life happens, or your product fails and you simply need to take some time to get your life back on track or change your business strategy. All entrepreneurs have to go through this stage of judgement from people; only the strong ones can pass with an even stronger conviction than before to show up the haters.
My story of new idea developments for my website continued for weeks on end. I had to identify my problems and figure out a way to counteract each one with a new product feature or marketing solution. The main issues that I had could be summed up in these two questions, “How can I distinguish myself from social networks like Facebook & Linkedin?” & “How can I make my website more addictive while improving customer retention?”
To answer these questions, I had to back track to the functions of my product. I still felt the idea and solutions were validated, but I still needed a better way to sell it to individuals. My pitch is my initial selling line of attack to convince users to engage my product. The pitch that I was using for Colluide seemed to be too lengthy, yet stifling the full potential of the overall college recruiting social network to be. I wanted to keep it general with the phrase “connection between colleges and students” to give users an idea of the niche that it’s aimed at.
However, there was the lacking addictive component that I needed to make my website undeniably more fun to use. I further analyzed different startups and businesses to see their main flashy feature that continues to drive users. A prime example was Facebook, their website wasn’t the most original, but still innovative and had an open market at the time. While it took a while to build users, it continued to add new features to captivate people. In looking at that example, I realized that I had to add at least one feature that would captivate users while having relevance to the overall product’s functionality. It may sound simple in hindsight to apply this level of critical thinking to solve issues. Having a step by step mentality is the best way to gain clarity on the actual issue, this process is known as gaining full product awareness.
I took some time to think about the education industry, since schools were the prime target markets. The problem being solved and an ideal solution had to be fun to use yet highly beneficial. Slowly and surely I came up with an idea that embraced the school nature, had originality, and a myriad of addictive product feature possibilities. Grading as a feature is the physical embodiment of college/university results and could provide great opportunities to manifest in my product. Furthermore, it was a great way to measure academic aptitude in a way different than the GPA. Plus, it was a distinguishing feature of my product and tied my website and pitch together in the nature of college. All I needed to do was figure out the most practical and addictive way to incorporate it in the website. Incidentally, I was a GPA calculating specialist since that was my main duty working as a student assistant in college. Funny how everything has a way of coming full circle.