Last post I gave a list of articles for a read, I’m going to reiterate them here:
Last post I mentioned that I will be talking about KickStarter and Customer Validation. So, let’s get to it.
As I mentioned, I live in Vancouver, Canada. Great place to live, mountains, oceans, cafés, and hipsters. Only problem I find: It is small. However, when you look at Canada, it’s entire population is 35 million. In the USA, it’s 319 million. So, I always thought that when doing Customer Validation, wouldn’t it be better to do it where there’s more people?
My time at Spring – great mentors, great advice – was wonderful, but I was given advice to go down to Seattle (right below Vancouver) to do Customer Validation. Different places have different cultures, makes sense. For MealShelf, that only provides value when we have interaction between customer and business, it does make logical sense to drive down. You have local customers and local grocers that will typically stay in the same place for a long time.
My new idea will operate as a mobile application that allows the public to find the location of people running temporary popup stands. It’s a play on restaurant day, a popular event in Helsinki, Finland where students, families, moms open one-day stores in their homes, neighbourhood sidewalk, apartment terraces, etc. I lived in Helsinki, Finland for 5 months as an exchange student. Wicked, eh?
The application would be C2C. However, the customer validation game changes in my mind right here. These type of people that would open popup stands are not obvious. I can’t go knocking on every door to find them (that would be creepy, I will probably get arrested). I can go to the harbour to talk to local fishermen (it happens in Vancouver, where some fishermen sells salmon out of their trucks. Legal? I have no idea, but great source of cheap fish) or I can go talk to some local hunters (I don’t know whether it’s legal to sell game either. It’s illegal in the States apparently). The application’s uses go above hunters and fishers. It can also be used to help your little girl’s lemonade stand. The neighbours all find out about Lucy’s lemonade stand and buys lemonade from her for $3/cup. You are doing 2 things here:
- Lucy will be ecstatic playing shop owner.
- You are teaching your daughter the essences of entrepreneurship.
That cup is more valuable than a tall coffee at Starbucks. Will cuteness sell? This’ll tell you how cute your neighbours think your daughter(s) is(are).
So, what does KickStarter have anything to do with it? Well, I’ve been thinking of Kickstarter for Customer Validation:
Here’s my hypothesis:
People do run temporary businesses, but they have primitive ways to let people on-the-go know about it. They want others to know what they’re doing other than a Facebook post or a Tweet, which doesn’t stay on your feed for long.
All the articles above have one thing in common: Pre-selling before building. From another standpoint, it is logical to agree with them that pitching your idea and trying to get funded on Kickstarter is the biggest validation out there for a C2C business. Second article by FightForSmall had a great quote: “I like this idea, so I’m going to vote with my wallet.” These guys are not only your investors, they are your customers. The concept of pop-up shops is validated. I saw it work in Helsinki, Finland. Apparently, it’s a thing in Montréal too. I’m just validating “if people will use an application to find popup shops.” I can see it working on restaurant day, for sure, or at night/farmers markets.
I am going to try to plan out a viral marketing scheme to get some leads and follows, then hit up Kickstarter to try and get some pre-sells (funding), if it goes well and fundraising was successful I’ll develop the application and push it out in 2 months? I’ll document the whole process for a case-study along the way.
Wish me luck,
Blog title from: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9967146/1/Reborn-from-Ashes
By the way, here is a product you should buy that originated from Finland: Fatboy Bean Bag Chairs