What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The Success Of Yo!6 years ago Ruchika Agarwal
“Motivation is what gets you started, and Habit is what keeps you going”
What it really takes to see the world the way you’d like it to be is to start from scratch and mould it will all the imagination and effort it needs. It’s not only necessary to be better, what the times now require, is also to be different. The potential shift towards growing and ever-expanding start ups is only a sign of the sheer brilliance of ‘innovation’ and the ‘motivation’ that stems amidst all the existing business set-ups and models. This is only fuelled by the risks and pressure young entrepreneurs are willing to take to prove their worth and carve their own niche.
An example of a very organic idea that created much buzz, is Yo!, which carefully tread on a risky yet profitable path!
Yo! One word, two alphabets. And its actually just as effortless as that. Changing the meaning of what a push notification can now mean, this app has brought in a wave of aggressive simplicity. It lets you tap a name on your friends’ list which sends them a tiny robotic voice, saying, Yo!
The Founder of Mobli, Moshe Hogeg reached out to his colleague, Arbel asking him to provide a simple one-button notification with which he will be able to reach his wife and assistant via his smartphone. Email chains were a burden while texting encouraged time consuming lengthy conversations. After pushing away the idea as being ‘dumb’ initially, Arbel eventually got down to a short duration of 8 hours to develop this idea without realising its fate.
Launched on April Fool’s Day, the app has over a million users now. Tapping in almost 140,000 active users with each passing day, the explosive growth of this app had people send around 4 million Yo’s to each other i.e, about 100 yo’s a second! After the inceptive rejection of their App store application, Yo was one of the top 10 apps in the Apple App Store.
But why ‘Yo’? Why not ‘Hello’ or ‘Hey’ or ‘Whats up’? The team at Yo believes, Yo is more than other such words as it can mean anything, an act of thoughtfulness (‘Yo! you’re on my mind’) to an act of confirmation (‘Yo!, I’m home’). It can be used in more contexts repeatedly as compared to the rest.
Being aware of the uncertain future of this which might be deemed as a marketing gimmick without any value, the startup has denied offers totalling up to more than $2.5 million from investors after wiring a basic amount of money into their bank account after a round of investor financing. Yo , is an instance of a one-bit communication tool, which people were quick to dismiss without realising the newness and the non-invasive nature of it.
However, the slowly dying fizz of the app is being taken care of by the developers by adding new features and ideating plans of its integration with websites to spring back and keep its respectable spot intact.
Yet, what impact Yo! left is something like: “This is the stupidest, most addictive app, I’ve ever seen in my life.”- tech blogger, Robert Scoble.
What entrepreneurs can take away from this:
• Stand out; be the purple cow: Being remarkable can transform your business entirely. Being invisible or just about visible will bring you to a standstill making it difficult to go past the plateau. Be out there!
• It’s important to create curiosity and stickiness: Creating curiosity is the key to attract customers to try out what you have to offer. Once they are at your doorstep, is when their attention needs to be grabbed to have them stick around and ultimately be retained.
• Focus on the user: Consumer is the king! No matter how royal you are, they are the ones who hold the reins and decide its path. Be consumer-centric and plan all activities that would only add value to them.
• Take risks: To be where you’ve never been, requires you to do what you’ve never done. Taking risks and the route less taken usually awaits new highs and unforeseen advantages than a common path whose challenges remain exhausted.
• The digital space is vast and it needs constant innovation: Innovation fuels business growth. With the shortening life cycle of products and services, it is crucial to prevent your offering from becoming obsolete and should therefore be a strategic priority for your business. Especially in the digital space which thrives competition.
• Popularity increases with adoption: The more your product/service is marketed and is doing the rounds, the more likely it is to be adopted. Tap in all resources at hand and to make use of the vast capacity of social media tools can only benefit.
• Finance wisely: Your numbers and your cash flows ultimately decide the duration of your journey. Its important to have a carefully planned out methodology to keep your financials in place. To be responsible enough towards your investors is wise habit that will pay off in the long run.
And most of all,
• Solve problems people never knew they had: Understand customer needs and be the answer to problems people never realised they had. Soon, it will be you they would think of, to come to their rescue and make life simpler!