I am increasingly seeing startups in competitive consumer tech markets adopt Amazon Prime-like programs where you pay a membership fee for some type of discount. Instacart (grocery deliveries) and Munchery (meal delivery) are two recent examples. Such loyalty inducing programs make sense as ways of achieving customer lock in competitive markets where switching (or alternating) costs are low. I would expect we will see more Amazon Prime or frequent flyer type loyalty programs in these types of markets.
Highly competitive low-switching cost markets I would expect to see these programs in soon include on-demand rides, last mile delivery, and maybe even on-demand physical storage, or used women’s clothing marketplaces. We will see!
A few minutes ago, my friend, who does not work in tech, but is interested in starting a business that would at minimum have a strong web presence, texted me:
"I wanna read a bit more about startups (particular web-based stuff). Give me some sweet reads"
Here is a slightly polished version of the email and reading list I sent back:
Even though I spend all day reading about tech startup stuff on the internet, I would say it is not extremely useful in terms of helping with execution. It is way more important to just try to execute your idea and then search around when you have issues or hurdles or you want another perspective about how to complete a task. (Most of the time when you run into an issue, someone has already built a solution or at least written about the issue before)
Having said that, here are the best resources I know to learn basic startup internet business stuff:
- http://platformsandnetworks.blogspot.com/2012/12/managing-startups-best-posts-of-2012.html (a well vetted list of quality posts)
- http://platformsandnetworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/launching-tech-ventures-part-iii-tools.html (a bunch of good skills for a business side guy to know)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_Startup (the lean startup movement, also paraphrased as do small experiments to validate your assumptions, is extremely impactful)
- If you have questions, Quora.com is google for most things startup related
- The best blogs to browse: cdixon.org, abovethecrowd.com, bothsidesofthetable.com
- Good tool kit of startup resources online: http://steveblank.com/tools-and-blogs-for-entrepreneurs/
I didn’t credit them in the email but many thanks to Tom Eisenmann, Eric Ries, everyone who contributes to Quora, Chris Dixon, Bill Gurley, Mark Suster and Steve Blank for the great content and curation above.