After building our startup idea for four months, we are transforming ourselves to embrace the opportunity and challenge of a brand new world – entrepreneurship. It was a great adventure for us to broaden our horizon and explore the connections between media and entrepreneurship. Before this class, becoming a sports broadcaster is the only career goal I have. However, after getting in touch with business startups and having better understanding about entrepreneurial journalism, I think I have more career options waiting for me.
First of all, learning about the concepts is the foundation for creating a business startup. We learned about the steps of developing a startup idea which are problem, solution and product. When thinking about a startup, we should begin with a problem that we have discovered and making sure solving the problem will benefit a decent amount of people. After coming up with the solution, we can determine what particular product we are going to develop to meet people’s needs.
After that, we focused on the value proposition of our product and then developed a competitive statement. It’s really crucial to have a clear value proposition for the potential investors to know about the uniqueness and selling points of your product. After showing the overview, we had to analyze our direct and indirect competitors. That was really helpful to decide how you will stand out and differentiate your own product to attract more customers.
Furthermore, determining your target market and audience is the next big step. Meeting the needs of a particular group of people in a specific area is a good way to start. Like Facebook and Lyft, they targeted college students at the beginning and expanded to a larger market when they found out the huge potential needs. After determining your target audience, you should know more about them by doing research and interviews so that you know what they are expecting and it will definitely help you achieve the product/market fit in the long term.
By having everything ready to go, we moved to the phase of developing Minimum Viable Product. When building the MVP, you should think about what characteristics your product has and what the unique features are. At this point, you have to be very specific because you will design your prototype really soon. According to the Lean Startup Model, you have to experience the “build-measure-learn” process again and again and again. By collecting all the feedbacks from the potential customers, you should measure all the pros and cons, and refine your product step by step.
Last but not least, revenue model is one of the most important aspects potential investors want to know. They will be really picky about your revenue streams because you have to prove for them you can make profits and that’s the ultimate goal. There are a lot of regular and traditional revenue streams out there that people use. In order to achieve that ambitious goal, you have to think outside of the box and really try to create your own revenue stream that others may not copy.
I think the biggest take-away from this course is that we learned how to develop a startup idea in a systematic way and how to cooperate with others in a startup team. All the skills we learned could apply to our journalism career in the future, like how to work in a team setting and how to achieve the final goal by meeting the small objectives step by step.
Although the class is over, the entrepreneurial adventure never stops. This class definitely gives a brand new career possibility for me to explore and teaches us how to think BIG and act BIG. As journalism-background students, we should take advantage of our storytelling techniques in different formats – videos, audios, print, web, photos – to bring all the vivid stories for our customers and make them fall in love with our products.
After the past 16 weeks, I knew what is the whole process of a business startup. After the past 16 weeks, I began to admire the “Never Stop” spirit that all the entrepreneurs share. After the past 16 weeks, I realized there are more possibilities than you may imagine. For the future, I’ll try new things with my braveness. For the future, I’ll embrace all the hardships and difficulties I may encounter. For the future, I’ll redefine the spectacular of media.