Many new social media companies are launching and becoming successful. However, their services are built around ideas that have been around for a while, all they give the idea is a twist, and users love it.
To prove this point exactly, we go through five companies that made it big with service ideas that we all knew about, but we still prefer them to others.
Now, not all these companies started with a goal in mind to become successful, many of them started up to share and communicate with friends, co-workers, and family. However, the ideas are general ideas that have been made into services well before they have; all they offer to the game is a twist to the idea.
YouTube is definitely no exception to taking a general idea and giving it a twist. The company started back in 2005 as a general video hosting service. Before YouTube launched, many other video sharing sites existed and were built around user provided content.
However, YouTube launched with a twist to video sharing, allowing users to connect with each other and know when each of them uploads a new video. This user connection feature is what users adored, making YouTube the number one most visited video sharing website on the net.
Twitter started as a small service to communicate with friends and co-workers quickly. Today, users all over the world use the site. Twitter is a micro-blogging service, which means you can restrictively blog, each of your postings are limited to the amount of characters allowed, in this case, 140.
The entire idea is a complete twist to blogging, an idea that has been developed for years now. By just limiting the amount of characters allowed, Twitter hit big over the internet and mobile platforms. It just shows you that users wants and can be fulfilled with just simple changes.
Facebook is an interesting company; today, it differs greatly from many other services, however, it initially started like others in its peer. It took social networking to a new level, by making profiles private and limiting registration to certain universities and companies upon its first launch. This kept users connected with their friends and co-workers while away from the rest of the world.
That is what really brought the service to where it is today. While today it is globally accessible and anyone can register, it still maintains to keep users secluded at a smaller level, keeping its essence from day one.
Themeforest, an Envato service, introduces a new way of purchasing and selling themes. Its twist to buying and selling such items was the fact that you utilize its payment processing system instead of utilizing third party services.
Not only did this save them and their authors money, but it also added to the buying experience allowing authors to spend their earnings at their leisure anytime or withdraw all with a click of a button.
AdMob is an interesting company recently launched for businesses and publishers alike. They took the general idea of online advertising and geared their service towards mobile advertising. Not only did this open up a completely new door to advertisers and the advertising industry, it also allows proprietors and small mobile development firms to expand their horizon with income possibilities.
Again, this company took an idea that is has been available in the industry for years and gave it a twist by focusing on mobile platforms, dominating what has not been touched before in its industry.
Now that we have looked at a handful of successful companies that took general ideas and modified them a bit, how should this affect our thinking patterns on new internet service ventures?
Most of the companies that we just went over started up by need, which means the idea came to the creator’s mind when they felt the need for such a service. With that said, taking ideas and giving them some pizzazz won’t always works, and is really based on its usefulness compared to what is currently out in today’s world. However, if you are looking into starting your own venture by enhancing ideas already out in the world, how do you know whether it is a good idea or not?
To understand what is great or not in terms of ideas really depends on what niche you plan on jumping into.
For example, if you are jumping into a business-to-business niche, you need to look at the demand of the current niche to see if expanding on the idea is well worth the effort, sometimes business-to-business niches are not large enough to really expand upon.
If the niche is focused on the general population, you need to look at how it copes for everyone, and what it is lacking to enhance the worldwide experience. Once you find a niche that can use great improvement and it seems like it has definite potential, you need to do proper research to see if:
- It has been done before and not marketed properly
- It has been partially done
- Users are demanding more under that niche
- The niche lacks certain user interaction if it is built around users and their content
Overall, approaching niches that have been around for a while and enhancing them may be a lot easier to work with than bringing a new idea to the table.
However, you should note that a great idea that exists and is not doing too well could be the cause of poor marketing. The company may have approached its targeted audience incorrectly, which caused its failure.
For example, large companies such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and others failed with many new services and products they brought forth even though they were great products and ideas. With that all said, my point is, sometimes researching why some ideas failed is a great thing to do as it opens up your horizon and understanding on why users did not like the service or idea or why the company failed to market it or approach it properly.
What do you think? :)