A few months ago I embarked on the journey of trying to build a new social network.
As crazy as this idea is, given the sheer complexity of the project, the fact that the competition in this space is huge, and that I have very little in the way of funding apart from my own savings, it was born of a deep frustration with the existing options.
Luckily, I have a fair amount of experience in bootstrapping new businesses, so I was willing to give it a try!
If you’ve read any modern startup books, particularly The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of an MVP. Here’s a definition taken from this article here:The minimum viable product (MVP) is the one that allows us to launch the product with the least amount of features possible so that we can learn and extract relevant information from this trial period and user interaction through a series of metrics and then act based on that data.
And here’s a very famous image to describe it:
Or here’s another useful illustration:
The idea of the lean startup cycle is BUILD-MEASURE-LEARN. And then re-iterate.
So, how to build an MVP for a social network?
Well, to begin with, I realized I needed to narrow my focus. I couldn’t just try to produce a social network that everyone in the world would use.
I needed to find a deep, narrow well!
What does this mean?
It means instead of finding a large market with a small problem, find a small market with a large (deep) problem. This way, I could focus in tightly and not spread my resources too thinly. Solve one small problem, and then broaden my focus as I grew. With limited budget and limited resources, this was essential.
Seeing as I’m a cryptocurrency and blockchain afficionado, I decided to focus my initial platform on that community. At the moment they’re spread out across a range of different social media platforms, none of which really suits their needs. Continue on trybe.one