We Found This Year’s Uber For X
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
Note: This article was published in 2015, so R.I.P. Meerkat. However, the point of the article still stands even more because of this development!
It happens every year.
An application launches in the App Store and within days, catches on like wild fire. You probably know some apps that caught on in a viral-like sensation: Tinder. Uber. Vine. Instagram. Snapchat.
Some Goliaths in the market today are the direct result of great marketing, incredible products, and absurdly unpredictable market traction. It has happened again in the past two weeks — Meerkat live streaming.
The next wave, the next big thing, has arrived.
For starters, Meerkat is a pretty awesome little app. We’re huge fans at Chop Dawg. In fact, we’ve already experimented with it earlier this week and provided an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with some of our fans on a last minute stream. It’s fun. It’s addicting. It’s a unique experience to involve yourself with your friends, fans and people you are interested in.
So why is this a bad thing?
In a mere 48 hours, we have had sixteen (no wait, seventeen) inspiring entrepreneurs reach out to us to build a Meerkat for X (that’s what we call it internally, Meerkat for X). Everyone sees the market wanting and adoring this, and they want a slice of the pie. Which causes major issues.
Let’s think realistically about this. This is a micro-bubble. It isn’t to say that live streaming is going to die. In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say it is here to stay and can easily be monetized. The issue with a micro-bubble is this is the biggest opportunity to cash in on the height. However, an application like this (one that typically is of high quality and of value to the user) can’t be created in seven days. Products take months to build. That isn’t even taking into account the business and legal aspects, creating the brand, determining a market strategy and most importantly, building a product that people would want.
By the time you have something built for this market, everyone will be onto the next product for x.
Secondly, saturation of market quickly comes into play. How many times do you see this? A successful application comes along and heavy competition comes in. Uber and Lyft. Instagram and Vine. Already, you now have Periscope competing with Meerkat (don’t believe me? Check out this article today from Buzzfeed). These are the heavy-hitters.
Look closer on the app store. Hundreds of little, terrible applications trying to take a tiny slice of the marketshare available. The issue is most are rushed, low quality, and don’t even function as intended. They’re quantity, not quality. They weren’t built to solve a problem or offer new value to the consumer. They were built only to take advantage of a market in the middle of a hype-craze.
Biggest thing of all? The biggest applications that you see successful weren’t taking advantage of a bubble, of a hype-craze. They were the ones that started it (or corrected the issues with an existing market). They offered solutions. Providing real value to warrant their successes to begin with. They weren’t trying to remix anything or spin it in a different direction because they didn’t need too. They knew they had a solution to something that needed a solution too.
This is what makes the best products. It is what separates the crap from the quality.
We will see this trend again. It happens every year. Don’t be the one who rides the trend, hoping for a small slice of a pie that you’re more than likely never going to taste. Instead, be the one that creates the pie. Figure out the next big idea, come up with a solution for it, and get to work.
You’ll be more flattered when the market tries to copy you instead of vice-versa, anyways.