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TechStart: Building a Startup in 90 Days

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And the Results are in…

These results were obtained from running a one(1) week Facebook sponsored post for the survey. However I found that direct messaging my target customers yielded way more responses. People tend to be more interested in your survey when you engage them in conversation.

In the previous segment of Building a Startup in 90 Days, I introduced the traditional method for Identifying Potential Customers, the Survey. The survey was necessary in providing key insights for the Business Model for usedtx.

Today I’ll be breaking this down and expanding on how the new Startup will make income.

Using a survey to capture potential customer interest for your product or service can be tricky. You have to come up with the right questions to ask, set the right tone for your brand and find the best form of distribution to target the right set of people. 

For me, I tried asking questions that would lead to some key insight for the venture. Do people even need another Craiglist type platform to sell books? Can I even compete with existing players already in the market. If YES, what could be done differently and perhaps improve upon to help vendors sell more books?

One of the questions proved my hypothesis quite well, that the current way of selling used textbooks on the street is outdated and inefficient. 

The question was: 

In your opinion, what’s the benefit of using an online platform rather than traditional street-side vending?

Participants answered with You get to sell more books because  you meet more buyers online., Its time effective and reaches more people and I’m online more often then on the streets”, just to name a few.

Doing these kinds of surveys can prove to be exceptionally useful to any business, and also uncover areas that may have been overlooked. One main area that businesses tend to overlook is competition.

But this was answered for me from another question that was asked in the survey: 

Through which platform do you sell used textbooks? 

90% of respondents answered with Facebook. So what I could deduce from this is that Facebook is my main competitor. 

Other than seeing this as a roadblock in my journey, because who would want to take on the unicorn that is Facebook. 

I saw a proof of concept.

If tons of people are using Facebook to sell used textbooks, that means there’s a market for what usedtx. plans to be. But instead of completely copying Facebook’s marketplace features, what I need to do is to analyse what works and what falls short from my competitor. 

Facebook has a lot of great features for persons wanting to sell used textbooks online, namely:

  1. Reach – your item for sale can reach “Millions” of potential buyers
  2. Convenience – it takes just a few clicks to have your item up for sale

However Facebook does fall short in some areas, which at a glance are:

  1. Filter – it’s very hard to near impossible to search for a specific textbook on the platform
  2. Focused – Facebook marketplace is open to any one and anything/item for sale which causes it’s timeline feed to be overwhelmingly clustered.

This will be usedtx. underlying magic: a simple yet powerful search for used textbooks, where customers can easily find what they are looking for.

Also the platform will already be focused as its sole purpose is for buying and selling used textbooks.

Now usedtx. will generate income through these two areas. Instead of taking a percentage on sales like most online marketplace, usedtx. will: 

  1. Franchise it’s platform and operations throughout the region. Access to used school textbooks is a common problem all over the Caribbean. Establishing branches in each island would properly expand and localize the business.
  2. Onboarding is going to take tremendous effort to execute the underlying magic mentioned above, the search engine. To make this happen, the platform would need books to be scanned, catalogued and sorted into categories of say: school term, price, state, etc.

And finally the revenue model would look something like this:

Franchise Fee  Onboarding Fee
  • EC $1500,00 – one time fee for setup of web platform, database configurations, domain name and training.
  • EC $500/annually – for support, branding, style guides, webinars and future products and updates
  • EC $2.99/month – as a subscription to vendors to photograph, scan, catalog and itemize used textbooks for onboarding on the platform

In the next segment, Building a Startup in 90 days | MVP, I will explain what is a Minimal Viable Product and showcase how I will build the first version of usedtx.

Join me on this journey. Start your week with TechStart!

Who am I? 

My name is Austin Lazarus and I have been in the Startup scene since 2014. My first experience came through the Digital Jam 3.0 App competition in Jamaica. Since then I’ve been to other regional Pitch competitions and worked and collaborated with both local and regional entrepreneurs. My proudest moment came from placing 2rd at the NCB Digital Innovation Challenge in Jamaica for Innovation in banking solutions.

Now, apart from my day job, I develop and operate the software solution for Restaurateurs and local vendors, BudgEat.





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Dominican confirmed as Antiguan commissioner of Police

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Dominica’s Atlee Patrick Rodney has been confirmed as Police Commissioner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.

Rodney is originally from the northern village of Savanne Paille which is located near Calibishie.

The announcement came Wednesday 19th February, during a Senior Administrative Meeting at Police Headquarters.

Commissioner Rodney met with members of the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday, where he was served with his letter of appointment, effective November 25th 2019.

Rodney, who has 38 years’ service within the organization acted in the position for a little more than 22 months before his confirmation.

His opportunity arose after the dismissal of the Commissioner of Police Wendel Robinson.

Robinson, who was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines, was on suspension since April 15th, 2018, when the Police Service Commission in Antigua began an internal investigation into complaints of sexual misconduct by male colleagues under the commissioner’s care.

The investigation later led to charges being brought against him and Rodney has been acting in the Police commissioner role ever since.

The newly appointed commissioner used the opportunity to encourage the men and women under his command to remain committed and united in their efforts to make Antigua and Barbuda a safer nation.





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Dominican actress shines in the US

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Dominican actress shines in the USAnother daughter of the soil has made her country proud in a field that few Dominicans pursue. Disnie Sebastien, fondly known as Myan to family and friends in Dominica, is the daughter of Riviere Sebastien and Annette Austrie and resided…

The post Dominican actress shines in the US appeared first on Dominica News Online.





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Deniscia Laurent wins Ms DSC Jamboree; Sheldon Piper is DSC top male model

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Deniscia Laurent, Law Enforcement Major has captured the title of Miss Mas Jamboree 2020 whilst NarZym Sheldon Piper an Entrepreneurship Major emerged winner of the Mr. DSC Modeling Competition.

The Miss Mas Jamboree Pageant was held on Tuesday February 18th 2020 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium Forecourt.

The 2nd Runner Up went to Kayjah Charles and 1st Runner up went to Dainisha Eusebe.

Carsim Brimingham emerged 1st Runner up of the Mr. DSC Modeling Competition.

The Result of the Pageant is as follows:

Miss Photogenic – Dainisha Eusebe

Miss Amity – Aaliyah Alexander

People’s Choice – Kayjah Charles

Best in Runway – Dainisha Eusebe

Best Talent – Dainisha Eusebe

Best in Evening Wear – Dainisha Eusebe

Best Evening Wear – Deniscia Laurent

Best in Swimwear – Dainisha Eusebe

Best Thematic Wear – Kayjah Charles

Best Response to Question – Kayjah Charles

Meantime, Mr. DSC Modeling Competition was a new addition to the pageant where four young men participated.

Director of Students Activities at the DSC, Trudy Christian said that “the male aspect of the show was included to encourage more guys to come out to Mas Jamboree”.

Christian said that pageantry is mainly viewed as a female event.  However, they wanted participation from the entire student body.

“We wanted to really have participation from the whole student body, I think the male competition did exactly what we intended it to do it brought out a bigger crowd to Mas Jamboree 2020” she said.

Furthermore, Christian said that the pageant continues to make a significant contribution to Dominica’s carnival.





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