We entrepreneurs live in a fascinating time, when innovation in the tech industry seems to be shaping the newest image of the American Dream. In fact, tech innovation is quickly becoming the go-to field for those looking to make a name for themselves.
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But, due to the unrelenting competitiveness required for breaking into such an overcrowded marketplace, these entrepreneurs have to invest an incredible amount of effort to stand out. And, even then, the odds are stacked against them, because for every "home-run idea," there are hundreds of strikeouts.
Research, in fact, has put the failure rate of tech startups at 75 percent, with the most common reason for failure being lack of market need, according to a study by CB Insights.
So, the message here is that having a great idea and conducting market research is only a tiny part of the process. Once the time comes where you are ready to venture into the harsh world of tech startups, consider the following three pieces of advice.
1. Find something already great and improve it.
In a field where innovation is the name of the game, coming up with a completely authentic idea that gains widespread attention is extremely difficult. Because of this, many startups are working to build off the successful ideas already out there. Think about your own experiences. What is something you use all the time? How could it be better?
For example, Pronto! (also available on Google Play) plays to the pitfalls involved with the original "self-destructing" messaging app Snapchat. One of the biggest disadvantages with the mainstream app is that you cannot merge its unique functionality with any other communication platform.
While many of the key messaging elements that have made Snapchat a worldwide phenomenon are there, Pronto! goes a step further and allows users to send the signature "disappearing" messages to friends, using platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage and more.
Additionally, another drawback of Snapchat is that the recipient can screenshot your message — defeating the purpose of self-destructing content. Pronto! has been built with a screenshot protection function so the user can send whatever he or she wants, without worrying.
Using a monumental breakthrough and building on it is a great way to present your unique value proposition. Your biggest advantage will be that there is already a lucrative market for the idea, and the target audience is likely in the same boat — meaning those people are wanting something more from their current situation.
Related: From Idea to Successful Tech Company in 8 Steps
2. Be bold.
Before you even start turning your idea into a reality, have a plan for how you'll market it. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you don't promote it with authority, you'll find it much harder to gain traction. In short, you need to catch people's attention. And, whatever vehicle you plan on using to get your messaging out there, remember that viewers' attention spans are notoriously short these days. In fact, studies have found that they average between eight and nine seconds.
Consumers are currently exposed to an absurd amount of brand messaging on a daily basis. They need to be hooked at first glance. One of the best ways to do this is by using influencers.
Now, one of the most difficult parts to this strategy is pinpointing the right influencer for your brand. While there are all kinds of tools to help identify the big names in your industry for potential outreach, this task can take a great deal of time.
Whatever strategy you use, think outside the box. Go for the shock factor and try something completely out of the ordinary. Go viral! The more heads you can turn, the greater the likelihood of attracting interested prospects.
3. Clearly lay out the benefits.
As mentioned, attention spans are short, and your messaging needs to be quick and to the point. Even the greatest tech startups can fall flat if they don't address their products' key benefits right out of the gate.
Within the first few seconds of exposure, consumers should know exactly what your product does and how it makes their lives easier. Start by identifying their biggest problems. Then, get creative in showing exactly how your idea works to solve those problems.
Take Laleoo, for example. This app built the foundation for its messaging on promoting the simplicity it brings to managing and posting pictures and videos. Customers can set the app to automatically share the pictures and videos they take with tagged friends, who are then able to view that content and add to it with their own material. This is a far quicker, more interactive way to share experiences than current social platforms allow.
Laleoo also further allows users to store all their media within its cloud-based platform as soon as it is captured. Another important benefit is that it doesn't take up valuable memory on the user's smartphone.
Identifying the unique advantages your startup offers was likely one of the first steps you took in bringing your idea to life. Regardless of how you choose to market your product or service, its benefits should always remain front and center in your messaging to keep prospects tuned in.
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As we all know, tech is an industry living in a constant state of evolution. Therefore, you must be open to change and development. It's amazing how quickly tech solutions become obsolete. So, always welcome consumer feedback and incorporate popular demand into your updates. Remember: A great product is one that can stand the test of time. Good luck!