Focus, pricing and sales in a startup

Developing a modern media content platform provides numerous ways to monetize the content with ample possibilities for pricing models. A pessimist might say that this is a too challenging task because it has way too many variables. Optimists are just thrilled at how many unique combination possibilities are available. Content could be priced for example by the simple technical quality, rarity, exclusivity, distribution area, distribution channel, selected audience, number of views...

As a startup there’s no history of how things have been in the past to provide guidance on how things could be now. As we are creating something that no company has ever done before, there’s no way to adapt and learn from the existing ways to help us. So we’re pretty much on our own.

We have approached the problem from several aspects to gather and compare our hypotheses. Using similar companies as reference points and general measurements has provided us with some general guidance from the markets. From the opposite direction we can estimate how much we can boost the business of our customer. In the sales negotiations this makes the value and benefits very concrete, almost tangible.

The negotiations provide us with essential feedback and new perspectives which are helping us fine-tune the focus of the core solution. As we have met close to a hundred potential customers already, we have received a wide variety of feedback on the features and functionalities which our solution should have. How can we balance the stated needs, our vision and our current plans?

Negotiations

Luckily, the majority of functionality requests have already been planned in our roadmap. Different customers’ needs may affect which planned features we prioritize. We have a clear vision of the solution, though in order to make revenue, we may need to adjust our development focus from time to time.

Based upon all of the above, as well as several other inputs, we have developed the first version of our pricing approach. Currently we’re verifying the model in our business meetings. In the end, the best way to verify our model is to go to the customers and ask the question: “How much would this be worth to you?”