Thinking of launching a startup? Here’s some advice I’ve found useful: Start small.
By this I mean, begin with a particular, localized problem your product will help to solve. From there, the opportunities are as wide as the Web.
One of the great things about technology is that it allows innovators to dream big. But as others have pointed out, it’s wise to heed the example set by apps like Waze and SnapChat and begin with what’s been called a “high value niche use case”—meaning, a small population of users most likely to engage with your product deeply and on a regular basis. This group of early adopters can serve as the vanguard that nudges the idea into the mainstream. That’s how Waze went from relative obscurity to being the app that people use for traffic information. That’s how Snapchat went from being a sexting platform to being the app that people use to send fleeting photos and videos.
In the case of ProductionPro, our early adopters are a relatively small group: Show People. But as a company, we believe everything is—or can be—a Show, and so we see endless potential for our app to find usage in non-showbiz domains, such as marketing, education, and hospitality. At every step of development, we’re assessing data about the ways in which our users are engaging with the app, and we’re thinking constantly how our Show People model might be adapted for others.
But the excitement doesn’t end there. You see, Show People are a remarkable bunch. Some would even say that our brains are wired in particularly weird and wonderful ways. What’s more, Show People tend to commit to their art with great passion and to also work “day jobs” in other, non-theater arenas. What this means for ProductionPro is, our app might serve as a platform to support Show People’s visual, creative ways of working, both when they’re putting on Shows and when they’re engaged in other roles. The boon of merging the art world with the work world is two fold: On the one hand, agile, outside-the-box thinking may be just what today’s companies need to combat ever-complexifying problems. At the same time, Show People may feel greater alignment between their art and their work, thereby making their jobs feel less like jobs, and more like worthwhile work.