Today has been quite a day of reads for me. Here is a list of reads regarding Kickstarter and Customer Validation (the last one is creating a million dollar business):
Right now, I have two major projects going on mealshelf.com and this blog. I cannot say that everything is going super well. Actually, there has been a lot of thinking because MealShelf is not gaining traction the way I want. In the first article from segment, a lot of lean methodologies are mentioned. Specifically, I want to point out stretch goals. MealShelf is a B2C business with us being the middleman of aggregating information from businesses for consumers. Now, I did validation for it as a platform for grocers to just list their products. They were interested in that. I also did some validation for a pre-order system that I prototyped, they were interested in that too.
That’s great, then “What’s the problem Donald?” you may ask. My problem right now is that I did not ask them to buy it during my customer validation, or simply put, I didn’t put a dollar value on the pre-order system. Now, looking into it, I don’t know the statistics for how many people actually preorder niche, exotic food from their local butchers on a frequent basis enough for that idea to be profitable (i’m expecting it to be small). So, i’m on the verge of pivoting and not positioning MealShelf as a preorder system.
I still see some value in it being an aggregation of available products for the consumers (wouldn’t you like it if you found out that your local butcher sold ostrich?). I called some local stores, there was interest. Though, they don’t see value in paying for it. The revenue plan right now is shaky, as my only revenue model is through ads (Google Adsense, anyone?). However, for that to pay off well, I have to generate a lot of page visits, which means Mealshelf must have a presence beyond where I live in Vancouver, Canada, which is a pretty small city. The Adsense idea came from PlentyOfFish, I had forgotten that a website with large page visits can generate a lot of revenue. However, it’s still very unsettling to know that is likely your main source of revenue. In essence, this would work if revenues from ads > cost of hosting and servers. I’m betting that it would with large interest. At the same time, it took Yelp 5 years for it to actually get started and go global. At this point, a fog has cropped up and I don’t know where to go. I still see potential in its grassroots as an aggregation of available products, if it starts gaining speed, I would see money rolling in. However, I know that it would take a lot of effort to which I can’t foresee whether the result I aim for will ever materialize.
Though, the work and experience in this project did bring about other ideas, to which I will discuss in my next post.
On a side note, back to the story in my first post about the girl who told me to go away after I walked up to her because I thought she was stunning. I told her that I interrupted her because I thought she was beautiful. She was. Suddenly, she became the friendliest and most talkative girl that day. Sadly enough, I had 6 hours until my flight, so I couldn’t ask her out on a date later. Fortunately, I might have dodged a bullet if her attitude flipped in 2 seconds.
At any rate, the lesson learned there is compliments does wonders. Honesty and transparency forges the path for some very spontaneous and organic connections.
Next post, I’ll talk more about Kickstarter and Customer Validation. I kind of went off on a tangent here, but it was a good organization of thoughts.