INSTANT MBA: Know Your Competitors Broadly And Your Users Narrowly

Mike Kestenbaum

Mike Kestenbaum

Today’s advice comes from our interview with Crowded Room CEO Mike Kestenbaum:“Become obsessed with your market — know your competitors broadly and your users narrowly.”

When Kestenbaum was a Mergers and Acquisition employee at IAC, he realised there wasn’t a mobile product that allowed him to meet other professional people similar to himself. Not only did he want to know who was nearby, he wanted the option of knowing who could be nearby. The app Crowded Room allows users to pre “check-in” to places they think they may go later.

Aside from knowing your users and competitors, Kestenbaum says you should also know who you’re pitching your idea to. Before Crowded Room became a reality, Kestenbaum had to decide if he wanted to venture off on his own or pitch his startup vision within his own company. The entrepreneur knew there was a “hole in the market,” understood how it could help his employers and knew that his current resources could help him pursue this vision. Today, Crowded Room is the first location-based app from IAC.

To make this happen, Kestenbaum advises that if you want to pitch an app about soccer teams, know the top baseball team apps as well. To understand your users, know that they’re soccer fans, but find out when they go to games, how they purchase tickets and if they’re fans of other sports.

“There are so many known unknowns, but what can be known is the market. Study it, understand it and know who you’re up against.”

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