Just when you think that the startup market can’t go any crazier, another story of some startup getting millions in funding comes up.
When someone’s idea is successful, Entrepreneurs and competitors try to create something similar for their product and repeat the success. That’s exactly what happened to Uber. the success of Uber provoked numerous Entrepreneurs as well as companies operating in an on-demand economy.
If you can offer any service on demand with improved quality, you might become the next Uber. But, to develop an app like Uber and start generating revenue isn’t easy.
To understand why to take the history of the Uber business model for example. Uber’s success is surely popularized the sharing economy, but the company certainly didn’t invent it. Providing services for the unmet demand has been in the market for quite long. The Pizza Hut wouldn’t exist with its good old on-demand model we call Pizza delivery. In fact, eBay is connecting supply and demand since 1996 successfully.
For the individual contractors, well that idea is also much old. Avon is doing it since 1886. This means none of the Uber’s characteristics is new. The Uber business model is successful only because it has blended old ideas to solve people’s problem with an even older problem – The Unmanaged Taxi Systems!
Point is, the Uber business model is not magic for every business. Zirx, an on-demand valet parking startup, went bust because they had to pay valets to wait for text alerts. Likewise, Cherry failed because it turns out vehicles don’t need bathing as much as the human does.
Now, it’s not that on-demand strategy is bad, but the point to understand is, when, why and how customers want a service. Then, build your product accordingly.
Before you even begin with anything for your startup idea to disrupt on-demand economy, here are the 3 secrets to make the journey prosperous and fun.
Find Out The Biggest Flaw
If you look at Uber for X concept, the biggest flaw is its one-size-fits-all strategy. And, Entrepreneurs generally build their business backwards due to it, where they start with a solution before even diagnosing the need of the industry.
Cherry offered pricey on demand services on locations which is an unattractive option if you compare it to Mister Car Wash’s unlimited DIY model. Therefore, get into the real world, observe, ask, find the sticking points, and figure out what could you make for people to pay you money.
Validate Based On Minimal Viable Product
A startup is nothing but a set of tested assumptions. You might hear that many people hate waiting in line for their coffee, but does that mean they will pay for coffee delivery?
Therefore, before you contact any investor, test your product. Uber, when started, relied on the SMS system in the beginning before they moved onto the app. Point is, talk to the real customers. Will they commit to using your solution? If not, go back to your idea board.
Take Zipsit for example. Before they moved onto an app, they confirmed that whether the parents are willing to use their smartphone app to book babysitters or not. Only after that, they build a smartphone app and grew.
Similarly, when you have a startup idea in mind, it’s better that you build a minimal viable product to validate your idea, and then only take the step towards building an on-demand delivery app like Uber of your on-demand startup idea.
Price-Dumping Is a Dumb Strategy
Many startups have copied business models from others, but with a price-dumping strategy to steal consumers, but frankly, it’s an incredibly risky idea. When you’re starting a company with your product idea, it’s important for each and every Entrepreneur plan for profitability to keep the investors happy.
Instacart, an on-demand grocery startup, kept their prices very low to extract extra revenue from the supermarkets. But, when this strategy failed, Instacart increased its delivery charges from $4 to $6 for almost all orders. In fact, it has also reduced pay for some of its workers.
Of course, there is no doubt that Uber brought revolution in the taxi industry, and due to that many industries have been disrupted now. But, keep this secret in your mind whenever an idea pops up in your head and act smartly to achieve success in the on-demand economy.