I am looking to create a new video-conferencing technology business specifically for established business owners to discuss growth strategies with highly experienced business coaches. I have already identified a live video-conferencing business with whom I could potentially partner - they're similar to Periscope. I am feeling overwhelmed in what to do next and how I should test the market, pick a niche and go about building the product. Please advice.
You don't need much to get an MVP together. Check out SimpleWebRTC for a free, open source video conferencing solution.
I just built a live video platform using a variation of that software (the next generation, Otalk, which is more complex) and found it really simple to get things breathing.
Once you have a prototype, just get people using it. See if someone will pay for it. Keep asking. Run targeted ad campaigns where your target market exists.
You don't have to start with a well-defined niche; see if a group buys in, and your niche may identify itself.
I have a lot of experience with both realtime video and validating/building/marketing new products and services. I'd be happy to offer some insight if you're interested.
I've been down the road of building an on-demand video product, from scratch and at great expense, prior to testing the market. Our company took the "if you build it, they will come" approach, which in hindsight, not surprisingly failed.
In my experience, building the technology and platform are the easier parts of the puzzle, especially today, when repurposing and integrating existing services is a very real possibility. Back when I was doing the VoD company, the technology to deliver online video was in its infancy, so we had to build the product by piecing together immature video delivery solutions, building the delivery platform from the ground-up.
I'd say choose your niche first, by defining the problem you are trying to solve, i.e. defining the gap in the current video conferencing market that you're trying to fill. Validate the niche by finding an initial set of just a few customers who have expressed a real need for your product. Talk to a few of them to find out what pain they are experiencing and define your project accordingly.
Once you've done that, start small and stitch together your MVP with existing solutions. Focus your efforts on the layer of value you're adding to solve the problem in your niche and defined by your customers, leaving the details of the underlying platform to the experts who are investing a lot of resources in building these platforms for third parties, like you, to use.
Hope that's helpful and good luck!
Always happy to discuss further on call as well...Chris
Hi! I like that you're thinking in terms of niches - in your case, business owners > business coaches. I advise many SaaS businesses in the Bay Area, and the one-to-one model is mostly settled with current players, the big market is one-to-many or many-to-many.
In other words, position yourself as the one that un-bores the conference call. Get more done, multitask, clear voice, sharp pictures, no delay. That's what businesses need, anecdotally at least.
Next steps? Visit a few meetups, visit a few incubators, talk to real people. Ask them what frustrates them about videoconf's.
Take it slow, be real.
Would be exciting to hop on a call to chat more!