Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Which 20% to focus on?

20% of work produce 80% of the results
so how do we know which 20% to focus on?

When I first started Malaysia Most Wanted, the vision is pretty simple back then, to allow people to search for restaurants online (online restaurant data was pretty crappy by then). I need to focus on 2 things: data and search.

I build a basic platform (ala crowd-sourcing / user-generated content); try to put in as much restaurant data as possible, and make searching (or discovery) its first class citizen. I continue to maintain the system (not much new features) and feeding it with more data (either manually or through user submissions), and the website grow organically until one day I decided to put more effort into making it better.

I believe all these years I sort developed a MVP product (data + contribution system + search), where I jump to work on the following list of features for various reasons for the past 9 months:

  • Develop a better UI (the old UI does looks 1.0, and investors frown upon it): increase engagement but not traffic.
  • Redo main page from search-centric to discovery-centric (people don't know what they are looking for): feels good, lesser impact.
  • Browse for restaurants by Map (restaurants near you is the way to go, right?): still a fancy tool on website, maybe on mobile apps.
  • Browse for dishes by Photos (Pinterest and Foodspotting, yeah!): it's hard to be both Pinterest and Yelp.
  • Launch a newsletter and encourage user sign-in (the Groupon-way): people like newsletter? not much impact.
  • Launch promotions sections (Paid listing): everything on the Internet is FREE!
  • Establish constant contact with Restaurants Owner (the paymaster): sales is time intensive.
  • Frequents update on FB and Twitter (everyone is on social network, right?): maybe I don't know how to do it right, still learning.
  • Mobile App (everyone need a mobile apps, right?): mobile app adoption is costly and difficult
  • Grant application, Pitching session, TV Reality show, conference, etc. (Securing fund=success, right?): I realize I don't need tons of money to pull this off, thanks to Adsense.

None of these new things had produced significant result (web traffic) for the website. I think I diversified my goals into business model discovery and trying to pivot into social sharing, where I believe I should focus on one thing only at this stage: traction. I have limited resources in terms of time and skillsets (coding=good, growth hack=average, marketing/sale=bad), and I should align my resources (time + skillset) to accomplish my goal (traction).

Which 20% should I focus on?

I am a believer that content is king (+ search), followed by community engagement. Build lots of content, focus on search + discovery, and build a community (encourage them to contribute to the platform, like Wikipedia or StackOverflow).

Forget about business model (at this moment), just focus on building the most effective platform to search and discover restaurants, and painless and fun to contribute information. Everything else is secondary at this moment.

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