Can we build a crowd funding platform as there are lot of enquiries around that? – a question from our sales team and there starts a research and we start reading about JOBS act and explore different platform and solutions and by the time we arrive at a MVP use case and think of a prototype, the noise is gone and there is no one talking about crowd sourcing.
I am sure most of the IT service providers and individuals with startup idea would have gone through similar experience and hedging on a trend is a risky proposition. When a particular business model succeeds, there are many business enquiries around the options to clone that model. The sustainability of any trend involves many macro aspects and few thought leaders can make judgements but hey, not everyone is a thought leader.
The objective of evaluating a trend is to check if you can use that to predict future change and whether a particular trend has any relevance for your business model. When you identify a trend that impacts your service offerings, technology offering, markets or your operations, you can plan actions that counter the trend if it is harmful or support it if it is beneficial. You have to evaluate the width and trajectory of a trend before you can react to it.
What can be the guidelines to evaluate a trend?
=> Is that creating an eco-system that will be sustainable? The sustained trends have created an eco-system by making significant impact on everyone’s life.
=> Will that technology trend get a community base and relevance?
=> Checking basic data such as sales, usage, website traffic or verifiable reviews lets you determine whether you are seeing a real tend. For e.g. we can consistently check the key word performance in Google and check top searched technology key words and find their consistency over a period of time.
=> Does that business trend has a solid revenue model with a pie for every players?
=> Check if the buzz around a technology trend is because of any recent funding activities and if it is manipulated
=> Magazines or bloggers sometimes announce trends for their own purposes, or you may mistake a temporary change in data as a trend. Trends require consistent change in reliable indicators over a consistent period of time
=> It would be good to examine claimed trends for actual data, and separate out the part that is based on observation/intuition to determine whether a real trend exists
=> The past history of someone that projects the trend is also a quick indicator – Remember the weatherman joke – Fool me 1000 times, you are a weatherman 🙂
As part of Startup consulting at OptiSol, we help in standardizing the business model by avoiding the traps around fad and help them in setting the trends than following one. We make right technology recommendations by putting the pros and cons of each option on the table and collaborate with the customer to choose the right one that fits their needs. You should not try to kill a mosquito with a missile, right?