Laid, Made or Paid: The Drivers of Consumer Product Adoption
Yes, the title might seem crass but I find that most successful technology startups echo, enable or enhance what we do in the real world. So for one example as stated by one of the best observers of the consumer tech market, Turner Novak, the best social networks enable in the digital world, behavior that happens offline. Every major successful consumer product follows this.
To further explain these terms, these products help people
- get access to sexual partners (or the chance of it) ie. Laid
- look good/prestigious ie. Made
- make them money ie. Paid.
Here are some live examples. Dating (Tinder:Laid), tracking and updating friends (Facebook: Made), showing off (Instagram: Made & Paid), changes in work & professional life (Linkedin: Made & Paid), showing off wit and knowledge (Twitter: Made).
They basically tap into the deep and core evolutionary biology drivers of most human beings. The more it is enabled by your product, the more sticky and successful your product will be. This is why investors care so much about usage and retention numbers. Basically, how often people are coming back, using and staying on your product.
Once you have good usage and retention numbers at a fairly large scale, it becomes much easier to figure out monetization. Assuming you have done a good job understanding your customers and tracking their usage and behavior, you can figure out the business model that aligns with the core behavior. So for example is it through advertising like with most social media? Do you charge a subscription for general access or premium access. Do you charge for extra features? Or charge for leads? Or perhaps a percentage of the transaction that may be enabled? So many different options to explore and this is the fun part.
So for all consumer startup founders, ask yourself: how is your product helping your customers get laid, paid or made??
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