On the road to Encenada, MX and an old friend of mine called and told me about his newly develop social app. I've heard a dozen of these before, and of course his biggest challenge now is marketing and fulfilling the monetization strategy.
My reaction is pretty consistent; and many people fail to realize this. The biggest challenge for your new apps is getting people to want to use it.
Anyway Before crossing boarder; stopping for gas, cash and a decent RR and found a great example in the real brick & mortar world that correlates to how startups develop their apps/social-tech/solutions.
Enter this nice Starbucks on the corner; certainly good for a bio break. Managers at this store (#2937) in San Diego there have figured out the permission based freemium business model.
Totally validates the technology app business model: users must need/want something and you have to give it to them for free. But that doesn't mean you do it without getting information from them first. You can't charge people to go to the bathroom, just as you couldn't charge them to use the internet. But when they do use your app for free, if they want to do more, there is an opportunity to monetize.
When developing an app, the challenge to monetize is always a discussion to question tomorrow. TODAY Your primary goal must be delivering the service that your user needs in a more than adequate way.
So back to my journey; as I made my to the back of the store, passing the line and found that the door was locked with a big keypad. The manager there saw me walking to the RR, and without losing a beat, he made eye contact with me and said, "the code is 1234". (btw- not actually the code, though that is for my luggage.)
If he has told me, I would have probably asked the cashier. But that was nice for him to volunteer it.
After using the toilet, a dozen ounces of water, and a couple paper towels, I made my way out to the car. I decided on the way back that even though I didn't need Starbucks, that it would be nice. And after all, this made me realize that even though I would expect to have free RR with a for that shouldn't be locked with a code, that this was a great example. So I did buy. This gives their RR a customer conversion :)... wouldn't that be funny if they actually measure that.
Give it forward. When creatiVe and free when creating your social apps.
Doh.. I asked for the store number so that I could post a review, but now I've forgotted the RR code. So next time I'm driving through, I may have to stop here again :)
Anyway-- gotta love it when I can find lean startup concepts like this.