Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Thomas Akins Jr from podStatus.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
The product started as a solution to Instagram users taking screenshots of music they listen to and exiting the music player, opening Instagram, followed by manually uploading the screenshot photo to Instagram. Personally, this was an unnecessarily lengthy process, and I wondered to myself: “Why isn’t there an easier way to do this? Is there a music player that simply lets you share the artwork and song info of what a user is currently listening to from their iPhone’s iTunes library?” That’s when the idea for podStatus was born and when I began executing on the concept. Naturally, I understood there was a business opportunity for the product through monetisation by advertisements, which aren’t as intrusive as the ads that come up in Pandora or other streaming services.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
My current growth strategies consist of bootstrapping and reaching out to tech publications because I think they would love to talk about the concept as it is actually very useful. I am also in discussion with a few contacts who are potential investors, one of which has a potential celebrity endorsement by a prominent hip-hop/R&B artist. I’m very excited about the challenge of growing the user base and the product itself ahead of the launch on 5 July.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
I think the biggest challenge facing the business is its visibility to potential users. I think once there’s that visibility where users understand how useful and interesting the product is, in addition to it not costing anything, the business can then gain a great amount of momentum.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
I can’t live without any of them! I believe every product is very unique in its own way and cannot truly be replicated. I absolutely love technology and the natural innovation that comes with it! Every product has some intrinsic usefulness, no matter how small that might be.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of business advice I received was from a 22 year old entrepreneur who has successfully started and exited six companies backed by venture capital. When I asked what was the most valuable thing she took away from being an entrepreneur, she said: “Stop talking about it and just do it.”
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