Tips & Tricks: Humanising Your Start-up Idea

Confessions of a Start-up Superhero…

So I guess you’re back for another Marvel-lous insight into the world of Digital Start-ups? If so, I’m chuffed…

Let’s kick things off with a fact: all start-ups deviate from their initial business concept. Like my Marvel idols, they transform into something entirely unrecognisable. And that’s okay.

Given that all you know about insydo so far is its name, let me start by telling you what the initial business idea was and how it evolved — because that’s the key.

It actually began as jetsetme.com. The plan: to fly in the top professionals from around the world and offer their services to the city’s residents. The best hairdressers, the top chefs, the finest sports personalities and so on. It’s Dubai, right?

Then came the name change. Surely it requires a luxury name such as Truffle-Moi? The answer came to light when employees started referring to Truffle-Moyand Truffle-Mo-eee. Game over… and don’t ignore those defiant voices in your head; they’re critical when it comes to killing one idea and crafting a better one.

I’m wincing on reflection, but thankfully I came to realise that Truffle-Moi was a convoluted, personal want rather than a solvable, mass need.

The point is, if you find yourself over-explaining your business idea to family, or defending it to friends, alarm bells should trigger. It’s only then that you can start to re-think and re-jig the concept to shape it for success.

The second lesson that crept up on me actually made its first appearance at uni. If you’re going to clutch on to anything from business school, let it be the SWOT analysis.

While it may seem too simplistic to cultivate innovation, the SWOT matrix will be the making — or mocking — of your business plan. Highlight your Strengths. Identify your Weaknesses (take Superman and kryptonite — sorry, a DC comic reference here). Assess the Opportunities for your future business growth. And finally, analyse the Threats, those ominous obstacles that’ll aim to trip you up along the way — like your competition. The SWOT analysis can form the bones of your business plan. And once you have that, you can start digging for a name that works.

On that note, don’t bother choosing a name without seeing if the domain is available (that also applies to the social platforms — we’re still waiting for ‘@Insydo’ to get back to us on Instagram. If you know the owner, give us a shout).

Trying to come up with that business name? Either:

1. Take a literal direction; a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin brand, such as Burger King or Jumbo Electronics.

OR

2. Take a riskier route: opt for something catchy yet simple to say. But you’ll need to invest money in building meaning behind the brand. Think Apple orÜber.

Once you have your direction (in our case, route 2), flick to a domain site (like www.godaddy.com) and start searching. The two questions that kept my creativity alive were: What synonyms relate to the business purpose? Can I imagine reading about it in Silicon Valley? And if you’re a techy startup, stay on trend… make it lowercase. That’s how insydo was born.

The logo? We crowd sourced it on www.designcrowd.com. Cheaper, faster, and bursting with talented designers who are ready to compete for your winning logo.

So finally, why was insydo brought to life? Without giving too much away, I found the ‘need’. A solution to an everyday problem. How often do you turn to page two on Google? If you’re anything like me, rarely. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could search for anything in your city and have the top recommendations at your fingertips?

“I’ll tear the city apart, brick by brick if I have to… And now … there’s nothing that can stop me!!” (Robert Bruce Banner)

That’s when I took the robotic world of ‘search’, and humanised it with an honest, editorial voice… Can the ‘big boys’ of the digital world swoop in and copy my idea? Without doubt.

But that’s why insydo’s curated content is its protective superpower; it’s the key strength in that crucial SWOT analysis… and it’s finally ready to go live in a matter of days.

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