Launching a new product: 4 Things to Analyze (Case study of a dating industry included)

When you’re thinking about launching a new product, you need to think about 4 things first to make sure that you have a high chance of success.

They are: Industry, Competition, Customer, and Company (including Product).

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(Image credit: economiaefinanza.blogosfere.it)

1. Industry

-Industry lifecycle (is it emerging? mature? declining?)

For instance, in the online dating industry my company is in, it is a mature market and there are lots of small and big players.

-Is the industry growing?

-Is it heavily regulated? Any legal issues?

-What is the barrier to entry and exit?

(The higher the fixed cost, the higher the barrier to entry.)

-What drives this industry? (Is it brands, technology, etc)

For instance, the online dating industry is driven by two things: innovative technology + marketing.

-How profitable is the industry?

2. Competition

-Who are the major players and what market share do they have? Is it monopoly? oligopoly? etc.

For example, in online dating industry, there are about 3 major players which have been around for a decade or so, and they hold 60% market share total.

-Product analysis: any differentiating factors?

-Distribution channels, suppliers, target customers

-pricing strategies

-any substitutions?

3. Customer

-Who’s our target customer? (Segment by channel, by product, region, type)

-Figure out any trends and needs

-Willingness to pay, price elasticity and sensitivity

-Which Distribution channels do they like?

For example, do they want to buy online? on mobile? in the supermarket? in the store?

4. Company/Product

-What are your product’s differentiating factors?

For instance, my product, Funfundate, sends you 2 daily matches and lets you pick which one is hotter, thus gamifying the product and positioning it as “a social matching game” instead of an “online dating service.”

-is it a commodity product or premium? (which affects pricing)

-Pricing- How much would we charge for? What’s our revenue model like?

-Cost of manufacturing/building and distributing the product

-Then, Predict revenue/year

-Then, figure out if you can break-even?

For instance, it costs you $1 million (fixed sum) to build a product, and $500K of variable cost per year. But if you can only make $300K per year given the number of customers you predict and price you set, you cannot break even ($300K<$500K), and this doesn’t even take into account the initial cost of $1 mil.

-Can you finance the product? how?

<Summary>

Do you think your product will be successful in your market? How big is the market size? How competitive is the industry? Can you differentiate? Can you fulfill the needs of your target customers? Is your product expensive or cheap? How can you finance your product?

If you analyze the industry, competition, customer, and company (and its product), you can at least avoid some pitfalls. This analysis alone doesn’t gauge success or failure, but you can get a deep insight into your market and know what you are signing up for. Think strategically and objectively. Don’t fall into a trap of loving your “idea” too much because it can mislead you in determining whether your product will be successful!

 

Bio: Emily is the marketing director at Funfundate, a social matching game dedicated to connecting people with like-minded singles nearby in a stress-free, fun way. She likes to cook, travel, and read books.

 

References: Marc P. Cosentino’s Case in Point, Michael Porter’s Five Forces

3 Budget-Friendly Weekend Date Ideas

Thank god it’s weekend again! What are your plans for this weekend? Are you planning to go on a date and wanna do something fun?

Here are 3 Budget-Friendly Weekend Date Ideas!

 

 

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(Image credit: Tumblr)

 

1. Date-at-the-Zoo

Watching and touching cute animals, and taking a walk or tour around the zoo are perfect activities for a couple to have fun and feel as if they are back to childhood!

TIP: Dress naturally, and make sure to sit down at some point and spend some time to share your favorite activities with your date!

 

2. Volunteering

If you’ve volunteered before, why don’t you take your date to the same place and volunteer together? By supporting a cause together, you can feel closer to your date, check whether your date cares about others and not just him or herself, and give back to the community at the same time!

Caveat: Ask your date in advance if he or she likes to volunteer. Some people prefer donating to volunteering.

 

3. Invite him or her to your place

You don’t even have to be a good cook. You can order food delivery and invite your date over to your place. After a meal, you can watch a DVD or your date’s favorite TV show, play a game, show her your yearbook…There are many things you can do at home! Make sure your place smells good and is clean!

 

(More ideas on: http://www.slideshare.net/funfundate/social-dating-a-practical-guide-by-funfundate)

[Weekly OMFG] Who would Taylor Swift pick for her next date?

Hmmmm….. I Pick Leo because he was very charming in the Great Gatsby, but after I watch Star Trek, I might change my mind!

I should probably start posting movie reviews. Watching movies is one of my favorite weekend activities. I watch at least one movie a week!

P.S. The Great Gatsby was okay, not as good as a book (No Surprise!), but Leo was really really cute.

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[Weekly OMFG] Who would Taylor Swift pick for her next date?

Leonardo Dicaprio VS. Chris Pine!!

Vote at http://fb.me/1reLYWBso and share your picks with your friends!

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Image Credit: FFD Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/funfundate)

The Disruption of the Online Dating Industry

As a person working in the online dating industry, I’ve had the opportunity to experience and analyze a lot of popular online and social dating services in the U.S. and abroad. OKCupid, Bang with Friends, How About We, Match.com… there are lots of great online dating services that help you find dates in your region. The concept of online dating closely resembles that of social networking, except people are looking for romance, not friendship. Online dating serves the purpose of bringing people together, putting them into a carefully created “virtual” space, and letting them freely hang out with people they like. Remember when you went clubbing or just chilled out with your friends at a bar, you met new people and became friends with them in 5 minutes, only to forget most of them the next day? Online dating has a similar flow. You meet new people in a virtual space, chat with people you are interested in for a few minutes, and unless there is some chemistry, you don’t contact them or see them again. Just close the chat window, and talk to someone else. There’s even no concern about being rude or mean online, because it’s anonymous.

Every excellent Internet service has one thing in common, and that is, it mimics real life. For instance, Evernote is like an online diary. Coursera is like your online classroom. Facebook is like your online contact book. Online dating is no exception. It’s like your online social “club” where you meet someone just for a drink or for a long-term relationship, depending on what you want.

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The problem is, unlike real social events or clubs where there is a limit on the number of guests, online dating services have no such limit. In other words, there are too many members approaching you and saying hi to you, when all you need is only a few quality matches who are truly compatible with you. When people are given too many choices, they can naturally feel overwhelmed and end up making poor choices. It takes hours to sift through profiles and to chat with them individually, only to choose one or two persons you want to meet for a coffee chat. It’s not only taking your time and energy but also making you stressed out. If the Internet is created to make a human life more convenient, why are people more stressed out by using online dating?

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This question led me to build a casual, social dating game called Funfundate. As the name suggests, it’s built for people to have fun. I wanted a product that is easy to use, social, and stress-free. True, nothing is ever stress-free in this world anymore, but I wanted to “minimize” people’s stress by making algorithms do all of the works for humans. Isn’t that what the algorithms are supposed to do anyway? And of course, I tried to make it resemble real life dating as closely as possible. It’s a web service, not an iOS or Android app, and we’re on a testing phase to figure out what people “need” and what they don’t need. Since FFD lets you sign up via Facebook, registration takes only a few seconds. You don’t need to fill out your profile information (unless you want to fill out optional questions like truth or dare.) Plus, it’s FREE to sign up and use! 🙂

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And then, something magical happens. It gets you two quality matches a day, from which you can anonymously pick one. (Your matches would live nearby your region.) We call it as a “Pick-who’s-hotter” game. A hotter match would be a person who is closer to your type. Only two choices a day for each member. Not one, not three, not tens or hundreds. If there is a mutual interest, a match is made, and you can chat with your match for free within our platform and then you two can meet up! Matching gets updated every 24 hour, and you can invite your Facebook friends over to play with you.

Online dating has been used by over 40 million people in the U.S. alone (data source: Pew Research Center). The industry is being disrupted by new, innovative platforms that embrace social, intuitive, stress-free, casual approaches to dating. It will be interesting to see how old players will respond to this disruption stage and how new players will shake up the industry in the future. (Innovation is always fun to watch, isn’t it? :))

3 BEST Gifts for your girlfriend

As a woman, I feel like a lot of men make mistakes when buying their girlfriends a gift. When you’ve been with your girlfriend for more than a year, it’s really time for you to give her something practical, something she can wear or use in real life. Pretty dolls, cute pens, flowers are welcome but only for the first few months of a relationship. So, what should you get her? Image

1. Tech Products

If your girlfriend happens to be tech savvy, get her a tech product or related accessories, like Iphone speaker dock, Ipod touch, Ipad, Kindle…you name it! She will love it and play with it for a long, long time and think of you whenever she uses it.

2. Wallet

 If your girlfriend had the same wallet for a long time, it’s time to buy her a new one! It doesn’t even have to be an expensive wallet. You can even buy her a card holder or coin purses instead if your budget is tight. She will think of you whenever she takes out her wallet!

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(Image caption:thefashionfoot.com)

3. Shoes

Women innately love shoes. Some are quite addicted to buying shoes. You buy her heels, she will be loyal to you forever! Take her to the department store and buy her a new pair of shoes that she likes! (Women have different preferences when it comes to shoes.) Or you can secretly get her shoe size and buy her one that is exchangeable and refundable (in case it doesn’t fit her well!)

 

There are other great choices like clothes, bags, cosmetics, and so on, but these are the ones that me and my friends really liked! What was your favorite gift you received from your boyfriend?

How to Recover Trust Issues after Your Boyfriend Cheated.

It seems like a globally pertinent topic when we discuss why men cheat and how women can get over it. It applies to men and women all over the world, regardless of ethnicity, race, wealth, and background. We see men cheating on their lovely, amazing girlfriends all the time.

 

If this is your first time your boyfriend cheated on you, it could be quite a tragic experience and hurt your feelings tremendously. You would certainly be angry that a person you trusted betrayed you when you did nothing but to care for him and love him deeply.

 

I assume you’ve made one of the two choices after the incident: either break up with him or give him another chance.

 

image caption: flickr

If you broke up with him, great, you don’t need to read the rest of this post, because you can just go ahead and find a better person. In some cases though, women decide to forgive a cheating boyfriend and give him a second chance because they love him so deeply already. (I strongly advise not to give him a “third” chance. If your boyfriend cheats on you twice, that means he doesn’t regret what he’s done to you and will even get more skillful at cheating next time he sees an opportunity.)

 

Even if you forgive your boyfriend, it’s difficult to forgive him quickly at the beginning. It would take time for him to earn your trust back. While you and your boyfriend would be trying hard to make it work, you would have trust issues that make it hard for you to maintain a healthy relationship with him.

 

Here are some questions you are likely to ask yourself when you’re having a trust issue:

  • What if he cheats again? 
  • Should I cheat too?
  • Do I need a back-up (in case he cheats again)?
  • Do I still love him after everything that’s happened?
  • Why did he cheat on me? What did I do wrong?
  • What’s special about this woman he flirted with that made him cheat?
  • How far did their relationship “really” go?
  • I think he didn’t tell me the whole story when he confessed me about the cheating incident. There must be more!! 
  • Did he sleep with her?
  • Did they have a secret trip together?
  • Did they do what we did together?
  • Should I meet her in person and ask her what really happened?

The list goes on and on. Panic and overreaction won’t subside anytime soon.

 

But there is hope! I’ve heard many stories of women who became happy again or even got happier with their boyfriend after the cheating incident. Once you cope with your trust issues, your relationship with your boyfriend can become stronger.

 

How to cope with your trust issues:

  • Stop asking the questions I listed above. Whether they slept together or had a secret trip together doesn’t matter! What’s past is past, he regrets what he’s done, and you’ve already decided to give him a second chance. So, stop asking questions that will only make you unhappy. Instead, start making a list of how you want your boyfriend to change in the future. Give him the list and give him some time to change.
  • Ask your boyfriend what specifically he thinks he did wrong. By making him talk about it, he will start to realize what not to do next time.
  • Ask your boyfriend how he would react if you cheated on him in the exact same way. Put him in your shoes!
  • This works like a charm: Make him call his cheating partner right in front of you, and make him confess the truth, how bastard and stupid he was, how much he wants to end this, and how much he loves his real girlfriend. And he tells her never to contact him again. Then, hang up the phone and erase her number and all histories between him and her on his phone and computer.
  • Ask yourself why the cheating incident happened. Sometimes, men cheat because their girlfriend din’t spend enough time with them, din’t care for him that much, avoided any physical contacts with him, looked down on him, and so on. We all want to be loved by someone we love. Give and take!
  • If you gained a lot of pounds after you started seeing him, and your hair and makeup look awful, that’s a bad sign. Lever give up your physical attractiveness just because you found the right guy! Remember how pretty you were in the first date with him?
  • Think optimistically. Half of the people on the planet are men. You can give him another chance and if things don’t work out well, you can just find another one.
  • HOW? If you are not ready to attend social events or hire a matchmaker, then online dating sites could help you out. There is a significantly greater number of men than women at online dating sites. This means if your boyfriend cheats on you again, you can just join online dating sites and get matched very easily the next day.
  • Hang out with your friends more often. Talk to them about what you’ve been going through. Talking to your friends can really help, rather than keeping it inside. Your friends can tell from your sad face anyway.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comment lines and tell us how you coped with the cheating incident! Women need to stay strong and not be the weaker one in a relationship.