Recently our CEO, Lee Lin, wrote a guest post on VentureBeat about his experiences presenting a case study on RentHop to a group of 90 Harvard MBA students. Here’s a link to the post.
Some of Lee’s key insights:
1) Hearing something you already know, articulated from a different vantage point, can be just as valuable as hearing it for the first time. There is a benefit to concisely formalizing concepts that you already know. You’ll have an easier time processing the topic in your head and communicating your thoughts to others.
2) Instead of worrying about big competitors, startups should be afraid of (a) defeating themselves through bad execution and (b) disruptive startups that haven’t yet entered the spotlight.
3) Startups that address relatively small and homogeneous target groups may monetize more successfully by charging people who are clearly gaining measurable value from the service than by using ad networks and affiliate programs.
4) The “Yelp for X” business model is popular, but it’s hard to create a comprehensive review service when “X” is not food or travel. Very few people will happily praise their landlords for collecting rent on time each month and promptly calling the exterminator.