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Entrepreneurship Gigable Growth Startups

MVP: Lessons Learned Vol. 1

Back in the early days of Gigable, we worked to release and market our mobile app and ticket platform.  The app was officially released on July 1, 2016.

To introduce the app to our initial audience, we got a booth at Ribfest in Naperville, IL.  This fest is the largest of its kind in the suburbs of Chicago during the summer. There is a big focus on live music which is why we wanted to introduce our app at this event. We also had a big showcase planned for August 19 at Wentz Concert Hall in downtown Naperville.  What better way to promote a live show, than to talk to people at an outdoor music fest in the weeks leading up to the show!? (more about this lesson in Vol. 2)

We got our banner printed, along with a few thousand promo cards. Then we spent 4 days meeting and talking to about 1000 people about Gigable and the emerging artists we feature. The conversations were very positive and we had a good response from music fans regarding our concept.  We ended up getting about 100+ people load the app.

All this is going well, except we didn’t configure a great solution to measure app usage. In hindsight, we should have had a plan to use Mixpanel or GA to get in-depth analytics on usage.  Not just usage, but stickiness.  How often to people come back and use the app on a weekly basis?  Are they saving shows or favoring songs?  Unfortunately, we don’t know.  As of September 7, 2016, we still don’t really know.

The big lesson: Setup methods to measure “viability”! It’s great to say that you are launching our MVP and getting the product out there.  That is a great accomplishment and you look really smart.  But, is it truly viable?  What’s the threshold? What’s the benchmark?  It doesn’t have to be a perfect measure, but directionally, you should be confident to invest more money into the product and marketing post launch. It’s really easy, I mean super-easy to dump thousands of dollars marketing anything. But does it stick?  Is the brand message getting through? How will you know?

These are the questions you will have planned for prior to launch.

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Entrepreneurship Growth Startups

The Problem With “Failing Fast”

As an entrepreneur growing a startup, I’m constantly pushing the envelope. Always trying new things and ways to reach people and inspire them to action. In the startup world (especially tech), everyone likes to throw around the phrase “fail fast.”  Which means, find the stuff that doesn’t work as fast as possible so you can get to the stuff that does work.

The problem with this is that I’m human, with feelings.  When I come up with an idea and push it out into the world and it falls flat, it wears me down a little. When we believe in an idea and we execute on it, there’s a part of us expecting that it will work right. When it doesn’t, sometimes we have to face some harsh truths and adjust course.

After 1000 failed attempts to create a commercial incandescent light bulb, did Edison say to himself, ‘this is stupid and I’m an idiot.’ He probably felt that, but tried 1000 more times and got it right. That belief in the vision to keep going in the face of many failed attempts is some of the most difficult terrain any person will encounter.

Then there are the days where you’ve applied the lessons learned and executed to find that you’ve succeeded. If you can get through this cycle enough times, you are a superhero.

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Gigable Growth Startups

Gigable Update: August 2019

It’s really hard to believe we officially launched the beta website for Gigable in December of 2013. It wasn’t even called Gigable then. Our new brand was born in 2014 and we haven’t changed much about it since.

To provide a little more context on why Gigable exists, let me explain a few points. As a gigging musician since 1987, I’ve witnessed a lot of different live scenarios. Many involve playing to a handful of people. All along the way, I thought there had to be a better way to get people out to a gig.

Fast forward 30 years and I’ve learned there are many ways to accomplish a full house. Most importantly, it starts with world-class songs and a great performance. Even then, getting a full room is not guaranteed. It takes many years of emotionally impacting a LOT of people with your music. Michael Gurley said it best, “when a song moves you, the song wins.” And when the song wins, the artist and fan win. In order for a song to move a person emotionally, they need to hear it a lot.

This is all foundation on why Gigable was started. Since 1933, FM radio has been influencing billions of people by showcasing a narrow list of artists and songs (i.e. top 40). There’s a psychology about how people internalize and grab on to a song forever. Radio perfected this for 70 years.

What we’re doing at Gigable is simply just the next generation of “radio.” Curating emerging music and providing a limited selection via playlists. The twist is that we also co-promote the live show at the very same instant.

So, what is Gigable in 2019? We are a music platform that inspires music fans to discover new music and go out to a show. We have a geo-located playlist that helps people find the nearest, next show. We also have a podcast channel that highlights artist interviews and in-studio performances.

Since 2016, our app has been downloaded thousands of times and avid music fans are finding their next favorite artist. This year, we have partnered with a handful of venues in Chicagoland to enable more relevant shows. Some of our venue partnerships include; The Venue, The Haight, Lemont Quarries, Time Out Chicago, Mockingbird Bar & Garden and Hey Nonny.

Soon we will be announcing some exciting new features in conjunction with these venues!

Thanks for following along and get the app if you don’t have it! (It’s free.)

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Gigable Startups

From Big Data to Big Break

The amazing people at Vertical Trail have partnered up with Gigable to innovate a big data solution on Amazon Web Services.

Check out this article!

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For The Good Ideas Startups

How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain could be the most important innovation since the Internet. We are reeling from the Equifax leak. There is a huge trust problem on the Internet. Blockchain solves these problems, however it will take time for each industry vertical to gain the full benefit.

These two videos provide a great crash course in understanding Blockchain and some real world use cases.

 

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Entrepreneurship For The Good Growth Social Media Startups

Must Listen: Noah Kagan Podcast

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Gigable New Music Startups

Introducing Gigable Music!

IMG_9184Friends, I’m very excited to announce that my company has launched a mobile app that will help you easily discover great songs and bands!

There’s more music being created now than any other time in history and who has the time to search through Spotify? The Gigable Music app will bring the cream of the crop to the surface. Pick a playlist, press play. If the song hits you, there’s a ticket button to go see the band live. The “local playlist” uses gps to determine where you are and automagically builds a playlist based on bands touring near you. Simple and potent. No fluff and no ads! It’s like radio 2.0.

The launch was set for July 1 and we hit the target! The app itself has been months in the making. The concept is something I’ve been experimenting with for years.

There’s several very cool shows we are producing this summer to introduce some of the music we are finding. You can see the schedule on Gigable.net (or in the app after 7/1!)

Anyone who loads the app gets $20 toward a concert, so give it a spin!

 

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Gigable Music Startups

Behind the scenes: Gigable Showcase at Woodstock Opera House

We had an amazing night hosting our first show in the Americana series. All three bands knocked it out of the park and the crowd showed lots of love.

The production staff at Woodstock Opera House are top notch and we look forward to working with them on many more shows.

Here’s some behind the scenes footage of sound check and the view from backstage: