There is a certain twitch that occurs to many people who
start new businesses when they notice something.
Sam had a twitch while in NYC late one night. He asked himself, "What am I to do at the last minute, to find a
hotel in New York City? Do I call every damn hotel? Why isn’t there an app for
Hotel Tonight is an example of that twitch that occurred when
a persistent problem didn’t have a great solution. Sam Shank, an entrepreneur who started out
working with Wes Craven on films, had one of those moments. He realized that at
the last minute, it’s too complicated to find a hotel at a great price on your
smart phone. And, he felt that others had the same need and that he could smell
a problem that needed a fix.
Hotel Tonight is that solution. Raising $80 million dollars for global
expansion, Shank and his colleagues found a tiny marketing moment of
opportunity when you need a last minute hotel. Hard to believe that this niche
was actually as big an opportunity, but think of what he unpacked…
- Excess fixed inventory (hotel rooms that aren’t sold by 5pm)
- No efficient way to search and find it on your phone when
your laptop is out of hand.
- Supply and demand need an easy way to connect
- The big players (Expedia, Orbitz) aren’t focused on this
There are several lessons in Sam’s story that are discussed
in a podcast from James Altucher that you can find here. But let me share a few
that jumped out at me in the form of questions.
The ever-present smart phone puts convenience at your fingertips
with untold solutions to problems that travelers continuously experience. But
technology alone isn't the only place where that entrepreneurial twitch can
occur. At the root must be a problem in search of a
solution and someone whose nose is twitching.
- Are you able to find a moment of need, when a problem exists
but no apparent solution is at hand?
- Can you dig deep into the contours of your category and find some brief time period when no one has taken ownership?
- Is it possible to use the pressure of time to your advantage
in finding a solution? (food going bad, apparel inventory going out of date/style, unused occupancy needed a solution, flowers
losing their freshness?
Are you a twitching entrepreneur trying to solve a problem
and to fulfill a need?
In search of some marketing assistance to manage your twitching opportunity? Perhaps I can help you create a little magic. Connect through Clarity to schedule time to talk.
Labels: Entrepreneur twitch, Hotel Tonight, James Altucher, Marketing Moments, Sam Shank, start up