In the crowded landscape of tech startups, identifying truly remarkable companies can be really challenging. Seth Godin's 'Purple Cow' presents a framework for recognizing uniqueness and innovation in marketing — qualities that can be the difference between ordinary and extraordinary in the world of startups. Applying this concept can offer a practical approach to evaluating startups, particularly in assessing their potential for disruption and growth in the competitive tech industry.
Godin's notable principles from Purple Cow:
Being Safe is Risky: Ordinary doesn't stand out. Playing it safe might be the biggest risk in today's fast-paced tech world.
Be Remarkable: Create something worth talking about, a "purple cow" amidst a field of ordinary cows.
Cater to Early Adopters and Innovators: These tech-savvy individuals are most likely to find, promote and engage with your unique product.
Create Remarkable Experiences: Uniqueness should extend beyond the product, and spill over into customer experiences.
Target a Niche: Design something unique for a smaller, more specific tech audience.
The Ideavirus: Inspire your tech audience to spread the word about your product.
Avoid the Cash Cow: High profits shouldn't limit tech innovation.
Be Authentic: The product or service must deliver what's promised to the tech audience.
How do you evaluate if a startup's product is a "Purple Cow"?
Here are a few ways to assess this, along with some possible ways of framing your questions:
📈 Growth: What evidence is there of growing demand for the tech startup's product?
Ex: "What indicators can you share that show a growing demand for your product in your target market?"
🤵 Customer Experience: How is the startup creating remarkable experiences for its customers?
Ex: "Can you tell me an example of some of your products' "aha" moments"?"
🔍 Niche Focus: How well does the company focus & cater to its customer's specific niche needs?
Ex: "Can you describe something niche that your customer really needs that I wouldn't have expected, and why your product is specifically designed for them?"
🎯 Early Adopters: How have early adopters and innovators in their target market responded to the product?
Ex: "Could you share any feedback or testimonials from early adopters of your product?"
💡 Spread of the Idea: Is there evidence of their tech product or service idea spreading?
Ex: "What steps are you taking to encourage users to share their experiences with your product? Is there anything I can see online? Would love to take a look!
Applying Godin's principles to vet a startup's product can offer potent insights into the startup's potential and if its product truly is a "purple cow".
Your thoughtful inquiries will not only impress the interviewers but will also help determine if the startup is worthy of your time!