To Be Or Not To Be or Is This Startup Worthy

I’ve been reading about a plethora (<- don’t know what that means but love how it sounds and makes me look studious) of new startups building new apps and it dawned on me that there should be a simple way of judging is the startup worthy.

While looking at Trustify, an App designed to hook up people who need private investigators with private investigators who need people it came to me. Before you start a company you should evaluate two simple premises.

Premise #1 – Is There Sufficient Chance of Success?

Is there enough demand to match supply.  For instance, everyone wants a great Baby Sitter or a Great Handyman but there are so few Great Baby Sitters and Handymen that it is a seller’s market. If I’m a great babysitter, I have no problem finding work and therefore don’t need to give an agents fee to someone to match my services up with consumers demand.

Some businesses need leads other’s thrive on referrals. Referral businesses don’t want or need an app to sell their service.

There must be sufficient supply and sufficient demand to build a two-sided market place.

Premise #2 – Does It Need To Be App-ified

Not everything worth building needs to be built as an app. If the need is immediate and the location of the seller or buyer is highly important and the app passes the Premise #1 test, build an app.  But if the need can wait until you get home and sit behind a desktop and the location isn’t some random street corner but a fixed address, then why build an app when the web will do?

This simple evaluation methodology would explain why an application like Social Radar failed to get any traction, There wasn’t enough demand to just find someone for no specific reason while Tinder, an app that helps you find two compatible people who have an itch that needs immediate scratching has gone viral.

This also explains why AirBnB which is Web First and Mobile second was so successful. Yet Uber totally depends on a mobile app to be successful.

Then there’s a Trustify… the Fact that Danny Boice couldn’t manage to tie a shoe, much less manage a company is not the only reason Trustify is failing so miserably. While many people use an app like Uber 3 or more times a week, few people in their lifetime require a private detective. While I’ve used Uber over 100 times, in my over 60 years of life, I’ve never hired a private detective. If I do need a detective, I would look it up on Google or Yelp or ask a friend for a referral. Not only is there not sufficient demand for an app like Trustify to warrant starting a company but there is absolutely no reason to go the extra expense to build an app that no one needs as an app instead of just a web-based marketplace.