Savannah Swix

Building a Startup: What it Takes

I’ve always known that starting a startup company isn’t easy. The things we have been learning about in class, in addition to the process of coming up with and developing plans to create and establish our own ideas and products, have only confirmed what I know.

The readings that we studied for this week detailed everything that has to be done for an idea to reach reality and succeed beyond just being something that someone thought would be cool. The process includes everything from thinking about how it will look, who it will target and how it will reach them and more. There are many questions that need to be answered and possible outcomes to think about when contemplating a startup. One of the most important things is providing value to others through the content.

I think the competitive analysis that we completed as groups for each of our startups was a really effective tactic to help us understand what is already out there on the market and how we can better our ideas. Both of the articles, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism’s “Chapter 3: The New Business Models for News Toolkit” and “How to Define Your Target Market” by Mandy Porta, revealed that analyzing competitors and comparing audiences and strategies are good ways to grow and expand reach to niche markets that are being missed. Our startup, which we have decided to call “Pushpin,” has a few competitors, but we feel that there isn’t another travel app that is quite like ours. Pushpin would act doubly as a social network for travelers as well as a resource for people interested in learning more about specific cities and destinations.

Another common topic that these articles discussed was the importance of collecting and monitoring a user’s psychographics: their hobbies, values, personality. I understand why paying attention to age, gender and location are kept track of, but I never assumed that who people follow on Facebook or how they spend their free time could be used to determine their potential interest in a new startup.

I think this would almost be more effective when it comes to trying to figure out your audience and who to aim your marketing efforts at. Demographics seem like they’d be best for sorting through the results and responses of a startup’s initiatives within different niche markets. However, psychographics and demographics can absolutely work together. Ultimately, the article from Tow-Knight Center says you need to “put yourself in the place of your user” and use what you find to create personas that will help organize a strategy for reaching even more people in your audience and to impress possible partnerships for advertising opportunities.

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