During a random “how-to market your mobile app” discussion yesterday, for some time the discussion centered around the value proposition of an app / idea. And what I realized was something very trivial, but which is mostly not understood by a lot of folks or is generally overshadowed by other startup buzzwords.
The only measure of how good or bad (or rather successful or not) your idea is, is based on the amount of happiness it brings to users, and whether users are happy to pay for this happiness.
Simple right ? Not really. Think about it. As a startup, most of the time we are chasing quantifiable goals – number of users, growth rate, funding amount, et all (of course we can eventually quantify happiness also, but that’s not easy to measure). In between all this, we have our value proposition – time value, ease-of-use value, et all. But are these the true values that we need to aim for, or are these just ways to reach our eventual goal of generating happiness ?
A little Hollywood story
A lot has been talked about killing hollywood – how hollywood sucks with their mean attitude. But hollywood was not always like that. There were people (and still are) who built movies for the love of it and with the aim of making people happy. Sure the attraction of big screen meant that everybody was in the rat race to become a celeb, and which eventually led to the wrong people doing wrong things – i.e the idea of “hollywood is evil” came from some of their actions.
Startup ecosystem is a lot like hollywood of the 80s / 90s
Starting up is sexy, and entrepreneurship is a buzzword right now. This often leads to the fact that there are a number of random startups that are born, funded and die in a very short time span. And one of the major factor behind this, is that not a lot of startups think about creating happiness. Of course every startup founder knows Tony Hsieh’s theory of delivering happiness, and Steve Jobs’ mission of creating happiness with beautiful products, but when it comes to our own products / ideas a lot of us entrepreneurs get lost in the overwhelming world of startup buzzwords – “DAU, MAU, traction, growth rate” et all. Of course, measuring growth (in any form) is important to a startup, but getting so stuck up with only grabbing users that one forgets the eventual goal, is akin to committing suicide – too much focus on short-term goals without realizing that you loose track of your eventual goal of creating happiness.
Focussing on creating happiness in 2013
Not just another of the new year’s resolution. Lets focus on delivering happiness to users, and let the numbers work on themselves. Not the strategy that you want to adopt if you want to be the next Instagram, but definitely aligns with the fundamentals of creating sustainable business in the long run.