Source | Entrepreneur : By Varun Biyani
ack in 2010, when my partner Anup Agarwal and I came up with the idea of opening our company as a simple blackboard where in transporters, brokers and fleet owners could interact and do business with each other, we faced a lot of flak from the industry players.
We met a bunch of transport agents, fleet owners and transport company owners and everyone believed that something like this would never work. We were saddened, dejected as why isn’t the market responding well to an idea, which could save a lot of un-necessary man-hours and bring transparency, which was much needed. Was it a bad product back then? Or was the “market not ready” for the product?
Here is an analogy that explains the co-relation between the product and market-
If the product is good but the market is bad the market wins. If the product is bad but the market is good the product wins. Whereas if both the product and the market are good something magical happens.
Let us delve deeper to comprehend the co-relation better-
When Product Looses
A classic example of this scenario would be the launch e-commerce sites in India, trying to sell apparels online in 2001. At that time the internet penetration in India was very poor, as people who had access to the internet were urban based and to add to the woes, the connectivity infrastructure was very poor as mostly people were using dial-up connections. It was a great idea, however, the market was not ready for it and hence the product could not be successful. E-commerce was introduced in India by sites like Rediff, Indiatimes, Fabmall in the late 90’s and early 2000, however none of them were able to convince the country to shop online.
When Market Embraces
In the 90’s, cable TV made its way in India and revolutionized TV viewing and got us hooked to shows like X-files, Small Wonders etc. and at the same time we could watch a live cricket match with a better picture quality. There was a clear un-met need in the market; however, the product was not so great, as many times we would have to call the cable operator that the signal is not available or the picture quality is not great. We used to run to the cable operator’s house and beg him to improve the signal quality so that we could watch a live cricket match.
In the e-commerce segment in India, the introduction of IRCTC was a huge game changer as people felt safe to use their credit cards due to the website being a government website. However the product was a bad one as the server used to choke under heavy load. In such cases, the market still embraces the product as the un-met need is very high.