- Tram Ho
When you ask 10 different people what the first social networking site is, you will probably get 10 different answers. Many young people will think of Facebook, but that is still not the right answer. Some others will guess MySpace. And perhaps, it was actually the first social networking platform to become an official website. Before MySpace there were sites like Friendster, LiveJournal and Blogger. However, none of them can claim to be the first social networking platform.
Instead, the first social network on the Internet was a website called SixDegree. That website was inspired by the “six stages of separation”, a name derived from the research work of the famous scientist Stanley Milgram. SixDegree was launched in 1997. However, it was too early to launch this platform on the social networking space. So its founder, Andrew Weinreich, applied for a patent for the concept of an online social network.
Most people have never heard of SixDegree. This website has been judged to have some errors such as: poor connection network or “going too far from the times”. However, SixDegree actually sold for $125 million. In other words, although it is not as developed as Facebook, it certainly has brought a very successful result. One big reason for its success is this: while it’s not a great social media site, SixDegrees is a pioneer. And when you’re the first to enter a vast growing market of social media, you’ll gain a lot of value even if you don’t become the market leader.
Of course, everything Andrew has done has the enormous challenge of identifying that huge potential market before anyone else. Luckily, I got to talk to Andrew, and he explained the steps he took to do just that.
Step 1: Identify the type of technology that is on the rise
Some people stumble across their startup ideas and become entrepreneurs. With Andrew, however, it was different. He always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he just didn’t know how to build his company.
To come up with ideas, Andrew began holding regular panel meetings with a number of other people who were also interested in starting the company. This was in the mid-1990s. From the start, Andrew knew exactly what kind of technology he wanted to focus on:
“The Internet has been around for a while. But it’s just a tool to help people find information under the domain of the World Wide Web. And I have formed a group with the purpose of forming ideas about the Internet.”
This is the first goal of Andrew’s strategy to pioneer the identification of a new market. Andrew has proactively focused on an emerging technology. To be a pioneer, he had to find a new market that others had not yet tapped into.
Step 2: Find the potential market created by technology
As soon as Andrew’s group started the discussion, he realized a problem. Although the team is very good at identifying business opportunities, they will almost certainly reap success from the growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web. However, all of their ideas are relevant to existing industries. Andrew explains:
“We started thinking about time. When someone has a brand with great potential and strong economic background, they will gradually drown this idea of ours. For example, anyone It said: We’re going to build the first sports website. However, there are well-known sites in this area that have been around since then, like the sports channel ESPN or Sports Illustrated.”
As the team knew that sports websites would become popular in the future, Andrew found creating websites related to established industries a challenge. He thinks the companies that currently dominate the offline industries will one day focus on building websites online. In doing so, they will quickly outperform under-resourced startups.
This leads to the second important goal of my conversation with Andrew. Andrew wants to remind everyone that: “As technologies evolve, well-established industry pioneers will also start to capitalize on them. If you are a startup and are also using new technologies. in the same industry, you’re going to have to figure out how to compete with the lowest possible resources.”
Instead of competing with senior industry leaders, Andrew came up with a different solution. Specifically, when brainstorming for SixDegree, Andrew is also looking for more industries that can use this type of technology to grow. Meanwhile, Andrew could not find any social networking companies that existed before the Internet. When social networking becomes an industry thanks to the Internet, there will not be a business in this field with the good resources to compete. This will make social networking an attractive option.
Step 3: Identify a familiar market
After identifying the type of technology that is developing and the industry that can use that technology to grow, Andrew’s next step is to make sure the new industry has actually grown into a large market. and make money. So when you become a pioneer in a market with no future, your startup will not succeed either.
To determine if a new industry could create value, Andrew asked himself a simple question: Will the industry become an integral part of it?
Andrew said: “Let me make you understand my intentions better. For example, without Bill Gates, we would still be able to use the desktop. Without Steve Jobs, we would still be able to use the desktop. We can use smartphones, and without Elon Musk, we can still use electric cars, so why change when those characters appear? It’s because they create a need for people. So, does everything that I do, I think right now, create a need?”
According to Andrew, the most successful entrepreneurs in history didn’t just succeed because they were good at business. They succeed because they know how to innovate to make their target market an integral part of their lives. In other words, if entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk didn’t appear, we would still have computers, smartphones and even electric cars to use. Innovation happens every day. Therefore, other entrepreneurs will also actively compete to bring innovation to the masses.
Which brings us to the third important goal of Andrew’s business: Even if brilliant entrepreneurs don’t create new markets for themselves, the value from new markets will persist. whatever.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, the best thing you can do is learn to pioneer new markets and start building them as soon as possible. Sure, there will be times when you feel it’s too early to do so and you might miss out on learning to build a billion-dollar market leader. That’s what happened to Andrew. However, if you’re a leader in that market, like Andrew was when building SixDegree, there’s a good chance you’ll create a company worth over $100 million. That is a really great result.
Source : Genk