The general gist is that I’ve been working on the details for an event discovery platform. The kind of web-app that helps you answer the question “What am I going to do Friday night?” I think the idea is still strong and valid, but a major wrench got thrown in my execution plans by another website that I just found. The website in question is taking a very different approach to the problem that I was, but they’re solving the same problem nonetheless. In short, they’re killing it. It’s well-designed, well-executed site, with money, a multi-man team, and a backing design firm. Their adoption levels are insane in their target market, and they’re obviously working feverishly on ramping up even more, expanding into other geos as appropriate.
My execution plan had been to execute in focused geos, building out to a larger scale system, as I could support it. Since I live in Hoboken, and it’s an incredibly lucrative market for the bar/event sector, it seemed like the perfect geo #0. Well, hats off to EatDrinkHoboken.com for a great execution in this space.
Could I toe off against them and give it my best? Yes, and I think I could give them a real run for their money. On the other hand, this uphill battle just got a lot steeper. Jumping into this arena just turned from a “step in and dominate with a superior product” to “struggle for survival and market-share with a very worthy rival.” The term “eat my lunch” comes to mind. I could choose to target another geo as my starting point, but not living in whatever geo that is puts me at a major disadvantage. It limits the amount of face-time I get with business owners, and I lose the subtle “feel” of the area that only a resident can have.
I believe that my original solution is still valid, but the road to it just got WAY rockier. For a one-man shop working off bootstraps, I don’t think it makes sense to pursue anymore. I think it would take a 4 man full-time team to really do it well and stay on top. As I don’t have the money to employ that, raising capital would be the only way to go. That’s going to require a rough prototype. Quite frankly, I don’t like the idea of developing a prototype that turns out useless if funding doesn’t come through. Too many variables that I have no control over and are general long-shots.
Time to pivot and re-visit options.