The Internet brought a complete new world to people’s lives. We had google which would allow us to search anything around. Then, in early 2000’s Yahoo messenger became the defacto communication platform which solicited and demanded a response with email starting the trail 7 years back via Hotmail.
Then, people could chat with each Other via Yahoo messanger purely by knowing an id. This was an effective means of an 1to 1 communication.
A parallel development that happened in this period was that of chat rooms. It all started with Yahoo chat rooms, an extension of Yahoo Rooms. This enabled discovery of people who shared similar interests. The system was programmed to create Rooms, which were based.
But, in practical terms, it became a form of a dating site. Of course, viruses and Bots destroyed the experience completely after a period.
Then, Facebook happened. People discovered a significant need in connecting with people online who were a part of their social network. Earlier, going out on a date with an Internet connection was a social faux pas,but,that changed when you connected with a fellow harvard graduate. Socially, it was a cool thing.
But, this had a negative effect too. Discovery of newer adults became a problem. As we see, discovery of new users is the biggest problem for a startup right now.
In recent times, people are trying to address this gap. Discovery of people with Common Interests. Explara provides you with a platform which allows you to meet people who share similar interests. Let us say, you want to build a product with focus on people who enjoy technology or even more specifically, Ruby as a technology tool. Explara allows people to discover, interact and then meet for further communication.
The community which gets created can be a enabling platform for much bigger things. Discussion around specific software can be a tool to create many ministack overflows. Surely, that is the next step forward. People can discuss problems, find solutions and work with larger global communities. For all you know, one could organise hackathons and get Google or facebook interested in the Talent which comes out of this process.
What does the startup get out of this?
- New Adopters
- Engagement with existing adopters
The value of a New adopters cannot be overstated. Every startup needs users to come into their platform. This is the cornerstone for success. In various platforms, people keep asking this question. What events around startups are happening in Bangalore this weekend. The fact that, Explara already has events provides them the leverage, the market and the community to answer this question.
If you create a community on Explara, you get a chance to engage with the same community. and possibly build users for your product.
The significance of existing adoptersis also very important. Companies succeed when they keep on engaging with their users. Otherwise, if they don’t listen to their customers, someone else will take their place in the Market. The failure of many food startups in recent.
Now, Food startups could organise community events which can be used to extract feedback from their audience and improve brand visibility.
A Food startup could promote a community which focuses on tea drinking for example. So, a community could organise a tea tasting session around say Darjeeling Tea. This could have the added benefit of creating content which can be used to build a presence on Social Media. Different forms of communication like discussion, Photographs of the meetup, Videos which illustrate the environment can be pushed through. The Community Organiser makes his product popular while, the startup gets content on the Social space.
Similar activities could happen in Other spaces like Food. There could be a community focused on Odia cuisine. A meetup could happen where people discuss. And tomorrow, a post on facebook gets a lot of attention. This can be facilitated using Explara Community.
Bangalore Trekking club could organise a meetup which discusses experiences and pro’s and cons. Adventure sports lead to breathtaking photographs.
Or, People could just discuss a car trip from Bangalore to Goa. The Road itself could be one huge community meetup where people join in.
People have fun while everyone benefits. The Other aspect is, the event management platform of explara provides access to events which are already present on the platform. And people who organise events have a Method of reaching out and engaging with an community. This engagement can translate into better ticket sales. Isn’t that a win win.
Best Case Scenario : It allows the Community members to become a startup’s extended environment. What does that mean?
If you have a great product, then, you need your community to talk about you with Others. How can you do that? Engagement with the community is crucial in this. If they love you, they will talk about you. That will lead to viral growth. Surely every startup wants that.
Most Big consumer startups have worked this way. Their most passionate supporters are their early adopters.
Worst Case Scenario : Your product is not yet ready for the Market. You take feedback from your audience. And hopefully you pivot for the magic word. Which is Product Market Fit. I know it’s 3 words. But, they could be One.
End Result : You have nothing to lose. Just Go ahead and create a community in Explara and reach out to an audience whom you can work with.