"It's a game-changer, that's why we financed them."
"I think they are a game-changer startup, so I joined them."
Investors and top talented people know one when they see one: The game-changer new enterprise.
This term "game-changer" is special, a term referring to something of extraordinary valuable, a business worth taking time to ponder.
If you can morf (pivot, shift, alter, modify) your initial starttup idea into a game-changer, you have moved from a clever new enterprise to an awsome-filled startup.
Here are primary characteristics of a game-changer startup:
- Revolutionary, not evolutionary. Game-changers are businesses that do things never done before. They are not doing something, better, quicker, faster, cheaper, nor are they entertaining or interesting. Semiconductor, microprocessor, PC, together they comprise one trail of revolution, a new enterprise leading each chapter, each chapter emblazoned with the name of a new category of product, each a fresh, giant market.
- Hot not cool. When you understand what this thing is about, you are amazed! The exemplary words rush out in a cascade of wonder. You think "Wow! instead of just "cool." There were riots at the Beijing Apple store for the first (fill in the blank) product. Emails rocketed globally at the arrival of Twitter and Facebook.
- Shifts -- not alters -- human behavior patterns. People stop doing something one way and begin doing it a different way. They cut the phone and television cables, forever. Blogs replace their newspapers, and the cascade goes on, spawning fresh companies by the hour in cities across the planet. A game-changer phenomena opens the door for millions of great, new enterprises.
- Explodes, not grows. The first model is a hit as is every succeeding version. People can't wait to get their hands on the product family, the service, the thing. Online coupons led to Groupon's IPO in record time. Facebook leaped over pioneer MySpace, as did Apple's Phone over Blackberry and the others.
- Creates new business models. They sell virtual goods, give things away to end users, and rent things instead of selling them (and do a lot more strange things). It's done because in combination with the other elements of their fresh business models they have figured out a wildly clever way of making new money. Guarantee a heavy construction piece of equipment will never breakdown due to lubricant maintenance failure (and make money selling the relate lubrication maintenance service). Rent movies via postal-service delivery priced at a flat per-dollar subscription price. Or rent software to industrial corporations.
- Think boldly, not cautiously. The founders are confident because they see the game-changer vision. They have worked out how to get through the forbidding unknowns that stump other want-to-bes. They are confident, without bravado, it is common sense to them. To others, they are not understandable, are shocking.
- They see things hard for others to see. This is good news and bad news. Bad news because it is very difficult for investors and talented people to "get it" and yet it so obvious to the founders. That makes it very frustrating when seeking money and people to get started. The good news is that other startups are not yet flooding the new space, the new category, so far "they don't get it."
BOTTOM LINE: Consider where your intial idea is today. Then ask yourself "What do we have to do to convert it into a game-changer?" Review each of the above elements. What can you alter to get up to the higher level needed to become a game-changer? It is worth the effort. It is easier to take a bit more time to get it right, rather than to have to radically change your business after you have gotten it started. Serial entrepreneurs work hard to create business plans that are game-changers. That's how they became serial entrepreneurs. When you can do that, you'll join the ranks of the great builders of startups founded on an unfair competitive advantage. So get going, you can do it!
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!