Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Predicting Consumer Behavior

Is it possible to accurately predict consumer behavior? Not if you’re trying to create a new market. This is the problem that was highlighted by the book titled “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

One of my friends who started a major personalization company told me that people are only 50% correct when judging their intention to perform a new action. This is one of the main problems when using consumer surveys to evaluate the viability of a new product or service.

So what is the answer to this dilemma? There are two ways to approach the answer:
1) Find a market that is currently underserved. You can find these markets by looking at current consumer behavior and analyzing what consumers are doing in those markets. If consumers are using products in a way that they were not originally designed to support, a market opportunity might exist to develop a better product that meets the specific needs of those consumers. You will also need to develop a user acquisition model and business model to ensure the viability of the product.
2) Create a new product and see how people respond to it. Iteratively improve the product until people are happy.

At, we’ve attempted to marry the two answers by creating a service that fulfills the needs of live concert goers in a totally new way. We’re addressing an existing market (concert goers who try to find live music) in a totally new way (making recommendations based upon the user’s favorite music).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Entrepreneur's Dilemma

This blog highlights the interesting life of a startup B2C entrepreneur:

Many B2C businesses are difficult to predict, and therefore raising money for these types of companies has its own set of issues. I really enjoyed participating in this dialog, and hope that more dialogs are spawned from it.