Hy start-ups and ideabuilders,
Here’s an open letter to you guys. If you happen to have a marvelous idea about a social network? Stop right there. It’s cool but you need to have an edge. I was watching The Verge Small Empires with an episode about “Rap Genius”. A social website that got 15.000.000$ in funding. The idea behind the website is that lyrics from Rap songs are decoded about their meaning and history.
The artists can provide information about the song but also you and I can contribute to the lyrics information. I think of it more as a Rap Wikipedia. The fun fact is that unknown artist can get a voice in the rap world. I know YouTube is the birthplace for “unknown and unsigned artists” but this has more “Street Cred”. Once an artist has enough reputation on the website, Rap Genius calls them up and verifies them as a “Rap Genius Verified Artist”.
The cool thing about Rap Genius is that they got 2 edges. 1 they had an idea of only doing lyrics of Rap music but along the lines they accepted poetry, speeches, … 2 they are discovering new artists, new speechwriters, new songwriters, … Maybe you could say along the line, they have found themselves a record label and by implication a business model.
A social network where people just can communicate and build communities and share, we already have enough of those websites. It’s better to go in a niche market. A good example: pick a sport and build a social network around that. I’m building a social golf website at the moment where you can pick your golf buddy with the same interests and handicap.
If you don’t got an edge or unique feature with your new social network, you should stop right here