What does Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have in common? They've all used market research!
A Pivot Point Analysis from Focus Margin will help your company. It just might be the smartest decision you'll ever make.
Pivot Pointed from: Odeo
During 2005, Evan Williams and Biz Stone designed a platform to create, browse, and share podcasts. They thought that podcasting would become a mainstream medium for sharing news and broadcasting opinions. They would eventually be proven correct, but not before Apple's Podcast for iTunes launched in June. Williams and Stone took a step back and market researched the new market, exploring user adoption rates, technology, and customer acquisition costs. They concluded that they had no real chance of competing against Apple.
However, they would never give up and kept moving forward. They where Driven! They realized that the platform they had built had tremendous scalability and potential. Suppose they doubled-down on simplicity, and just made a portal where people could share what they were up to. They looked at existing social networks like Facebook, and researched customer dissatisfaction. Users loved Facebook for photo-sharing and friend-snooping, but often found the News Feed to be overwhelming and cluttered. Their new venture, Twitter, would provide a back-to-the-basics feed of information, with a focus on news and celebrity. It seemed crazy, but they pulled it off, accomplishing one of the most successful pivot points of the 21st century.
Pivot Pointed from: Tune In Hook Up
YouTube began as a video dating site called "Tune In Hook Up." Founders Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley were disappointed with limited traction. However after they watched Superbowl XXXVVII and the whole Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco, they came up with another idea. Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley all realized that finding proper videos online was surprisingly difficult. In addition, even when you could find one, the sites were unreliable and buggy. Plus, sharing was a chore: video email attachments were unreliable, and most sites failed to provide dedicated video links.
The trio set out to solve these problems, instead of trying to compete in an already-crowded space. They researched the market, and determined that they had a great shot at solving online video better than anyone else. In 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion.
Pivot Pointed from: Burbn
Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom developed a new location-based, check-in app called Burbn, and even a Full Version for the iPhone App. After releasing the app, they realized they needed to re-evaluate the market share and competitors in the market. Systrom even said "It felt cluttered, and overrun with features,". He and Krieger also noticed that they were late to the game in a trendy space already dominated by Foursquare. They removed almost all of their features, leaving only photos, commenting, and liking. They rebranded their business as Instagram. By looking closely at the market, understanding their strengths, and researching competitors, they were able to make the right call. Well and Im sure you know the rest? The rest is history. Facebook bought Instagram in late 2012 for nearly three quarters of $1 billion in cash and stock.