Steve Blanks says:
The quickest way to create a billion dollar company is to take basic human social needs and figure out how to mediate them on-line.
Friendship, dating, sex, art, entertainment, communication, confession, networking, gambling, religion – would our hearts still beat and would our lungs still breathe without them? Of course. But these are things that make us human. They are hard-wired into our psyche. We’ve been doing them for ten’s of thousands of years.
The thing with basic human needs is that they are all massive if you figure out something that truly resonates with an individual’s humanity. Perfecting an individual experience could mean perfecting every individual’s experience. Blanks’ post is worth reading as a model to think about such ideas.
The other thing about such applications, flowing from being so deeply linked to each and every person’s humanity, is that there is always someone figuring out a way to make them even better, particularly as underlying technology platforms change, e.g. computer to smart phone. That means that possessing the killer solution can be transitory. Fred Wilson had an interesting thought about that this week where he describes the “round trip from nothing to everything to nothing again” as “network effects are possible in both directions.”