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Welcome to the Armchair Entrepreneur podcast. This is the podcast where we explore what it is to be an entrepreneur. The mindset’s questions, hurdles and problems you might face on the path away from the rat race. I’m James and I’m joined by my co-host, Marcello. I’ve been doing this.

I made. Yeah. Oh, good on you.

Yes. Good. Thank you. So this week I spotted a tweet by GEICO Greg Eisenberg. Who is the ex of Facebook and some other places? And he was talking about some ideas around the topic of unbundling. So I thought be quite interesting to talk about unbundling what that is, how it sort of refers to entrepreneurship and. There’s a guy called Jim Barksdale, who was the president and CEO of Netscape and Netscape was the big sort of darling of the original Internet boom. They made Netscape Navigator, which was the original intent. One of the original Internet browsers won the most popular.

They eventually got bought out by AOL in the late 90s and that browser became Firefox. So if you use Firefox, then you’re using the original Netscape browser.

And he had a quote which people sort of quote very often where he says, There’s only two ways I know to make money bundling an unbundling. So what is bundling? What is unbundling? So what he’s referring to there is is in business and in markets.

You will have lots of related products and lots of related markets going on. So say, for example, a classic case of unbundling is Craigslist. So when Craigslist came along, that was very successful. This was like the first or the most popular version of online classifieds. And when you went into Craigslist, they had a whole different sections for different stuff that was going on. So they had. Houses to rent. They had stuff for sale and things like that. And what happened was it was a lot these a lot of companies came along, a lot of seasoned entrepreneurs came along. They looked at the success of these different areas of Craigslist and they decided. Right. Okay. Well, there’s obviously market demand for this kind of stuff. There’s the market demand for the business and industry and sales that are going on within these different sort of areas of Craigslist. Can we take those parts of the the transactions that are going on within these areas of Craigslist and take away and create a platform which better serves those kind of transactions just on their own? And. A number of these companies were very successful at doing that. And this is this was sort of called out in a Andreessen Horowitz article. I think back in 2016 and they talked about the great unbundling of Facebook and they in there, they showed a great little graphic. Which actually sort of describes what the unbundling of all these different areas are. So these are all huge. Billion dollar, some of these are very billion dollar, multibillion dollar companies. And effectively, with what they were doing as they were taking different parts of the crisis and pulling it out to same thing. So here we have communities. So next year, dot com personnels tinder on all the dating apps. Discussion forums. Read it to that and sort of ran with it. Housing and for sale of Zillow at BMB Jobs IT recruits are indeed up work, all these kind of things, gigs, shift gigs. So all of these huge companies basically came out, this giant unbundling of.


So I thought it’d be interesting to talk about, OK, given what came out of Craig’s List and a success that’s been going on there. What other platforms that are there that exist currently that are absolutely right for unbundling?

Have you got any thoughts for that? Yes.

So certainly it’s a very interesting way of looking at it. So, yes, but by nature, many companies also make money bundling stuff. And it’s like in Old Transue and you can go into politics. You know, you have the the left on the right. There’s a pendulous always going one way or the other. It’s kind of people get saturated of doing things one way and they change their habits. Maybe it’s human nature, psychology, whatever you call it. But certainly there is that dynamic unbundling on unbundling. Probably Reddit could be on our platform that now could be unbundled, just going to the Nicias discussions for problems that need to be solved. I think there was this tweet tarab mentioned on broadly unbundling Suppiger. So for the ones who don’t know Suppiger, it’s Web app essentially that allows you to connect API from different platforms or or service providers. So we use sub beer in networkers, for example, for just connecting our social media channels with our marketing channels on reporting. So it’s very useful. But given they don’t specialise and they have thousands of potential connexions, some of those which could be critical for certain operations in their business, they don’t work as well. So we could be open, for instance, to do it, do a bespoke connexion there or hire itself from someone else. So there is opportunity there as well. On unbundling Reddit Suppiger. Yeah. What do you think about it?


So red, it is obviously a group of lots of this different discussion forums, in essence, you know, you go to read it and you go and you find your subject about the topics that you’re interested in, and then you can subscribe to those subbranches. And everyday new subeditors are being started. Certain sub Reddit so growing. And there are there are sites. I think once called track Reddit, where you can go along and it will give you the information about which of these subject it is growing at the fastest pace. So it’s a way of actually seeing sort of trends in topics of interest just in general on the Internet. And when you go through that list, you can actually see some. You can see that there’s actually a community of people or a market there, which would be like a good target market for a sort of a niche product of some description. And also, it’s a really great source of sort of market research, because if you go into those subsidies, you can see what it is they’re talking about. You can see what the classes of problems that come up over and over and over again. You can see if there are just some really ad hoc kind of commercial interactions going on. You know, people might be buying and selling things between each other just. By contacting each other, I read it or maybe this they’re doing it via some sort of Facebook group or something like that, but it’s a really good idea to go in and. Because you want to be if you’re starting a business or you’re thinking starting business, you want to be going where people are already doing sort of business transactions or, you know, transactions of any sort based on the consumer or the business side and trying to inject yourself into that process. And so it’s a really great a research opportunity to see light and find interesting new groups and nations of people. But also, it’s a marketing opportunity, because if you go and participate within those subsidies, not in a spammy way, but if you do it in a way which adds to the community, then you can become known in the community. And you can often sort of offer your services in there or read. It also has an advertising platform. Right. And so you can get quite targeted. If you create a service which is specifically targeting one of these celebrities, then you can actually fairly cheaply add display ads which sit completely align with all the stuff is going in there. So everyone within that community will be able to see those ads and maybe interact with your product or service. And another great thing as well is you can actually get a feel for the size, the total, the addressable market, because the subbranches will tell you exactly how many people subscribe to the subsidies. So, you know, you might have some preconceived idea for a product or service and go find the Subrata at which or multiple subsidies, which actually sort of are involved in that product or service. And you can say, you know, this has got two hundred thousand people who are interested in this versus there’s like 150 people interested in this. So you give you a good stare as to which direction you could possibly go in.

Certainly, it’s very useful. Yeah, probably a starting point for GEB building that initial concept of business concept, even an idea. Again, it’s all we discussed in previous podcasts about the prelude versus the situation. So which one was more important? We said distribution. So in this example, you are measuring the potential distribution right away. So so that’s important, certainly. And you can be the pro from there also. Yeah. If you don’t get if your goal is just to add value and make money, then you won’t be as concerned about the product. And it’s more an approach on where is a problem. Can I solve it? What’s the total. Others market. And then they just do their inverse reasoning by. In this case, unbundle it. Yeah, for sure.

So yeah, redit certainly some beer. I was thinking also that it can apply at the probe level. So probes that are more complex and could be unbundled into some things simpler like the airports were very successful on, on. Apple got lots of sales. More people come into their ecosystem as well. And it’s just going wireless from Trishala Airport. So that yeah. That was interesting.

Then probably you got first initial there. The early Internet was more like text based. Then you got Social Media Incorporated images. Then you got YouTube incorporating video. And then all these platforms they Google and Facebook started betting on VR, which are reality or augmented reality as being the next mass adopted thing. But it actually didn’t take off audin people did then go for.

Those preferences. So it’s not certainly not mass adopted, at least not yet. So buddy, what grew in popularity a lot was like August, for example. You have very successful crosscuts and actually they keep growing. So that could be like an unbundled of the video, you know, audio part where people probably gets too much saturated and they don’t want that.

They just want less. They want to be exercising and just listening to something. And they’re all day working in front of a P.C. or a phone.

So they just want to relax their their mind or the views.

So so, yeah, it’s certainly it’s useful, those bundling or aggregators as a starting point to do the research and capture trends and then a month from there. But it could be a business idea, concept level or at the probe level.

That’s what I would say.

Yes. So I think the distinction that I would draw between sort of bundling and unbundling or the way that you want to try and think about it.

So if you’re trying to come up with a business idea, for example, how can you apply either bundling or unbundling to your idea or to to spark off some ideas of what you might want to do? So bundling tends to be to do with convenience. So where you have a task or a job or something, where there are lots of individual moving parts or say, for example, you’re doing it on the Internet and you’ve got some business process and you have to log into like eight different SAS platforms in order to be able to achieve what it is that you want to achieve, then that’s just as annoying. That’s painful as better. Is there a way of saying, well, I pay for convenience? Can we take all of those things and smoosh that up into a great thing and offer all of them across the top? And so that’s the aggregation, bundling patients convenience. Whereas unbundling is to do with specificity, which is where you have sort of this giant thing that you’re involved with. But actually only this part over here is what brings you the most value. But you have to deal with all this other stuff. So flying around it. So can you sort of pluck some specific thing and pull it out of this giant lumpy hole and make that valuable in and of itself? So it’s different. So it’s one direction. It’s great convenience and the other direction is greater specificity. The example that I tend to give when it comes to so specificity when it comes to marketing is also, you know, distribution is vitally important. How are you going to get people to find your stuff and choose to buy you over your competitors? The example I always gave his cat food. If you’ve got a home, a Siamese cat, and you go to the supermarket. And you go to the cat food, oil, and side by side, you see a can one can Kansas cat food for your cat. And then the next can soda sizes, Siamese cat food for a Siamese cat. Like if you’ve got a Siamese cat. Which one are you going to pick? You’re going to pick the Siamese cat because it’s more specific to your situation. Now, it may well be the same, you know, horsemeat or whatever is in the actual count itself. But, you know, you’re going to tend to specificity. That’s going to be a smaller addressable market, but, you know, more specifically targeted at them. And so you’re more likely to be picked out. And so unbundling as well can sort of can be about that side of things as well in terms of saying, OK, carve out a smaller chunk of market from this greater whole and more specifically target them with your goods and services, and then you’re more likely to have them choose you over the competition because you’re more specific to their needs and worries and things like that uncertainly.

If you go specific, if you specialise in anything, probes, services or a category, you may very well find less competitors on an easier way to market yourself. So that’s a by product that looks like a massive add-on will make it easier for you to differentiate, to position to capture those clients easier.

Well, you put that simple. I’m ready. Body will be in general, even if you do add some Google Facebook. The more narrow down is the audience or the better. You have your customer segmentation. It will be way easier for you, Robert, versus going very broad on. We are so broad your platform that is or is even if the description is accurate, it people will struggle to understand what’s what’s really about.

So that certainly unbundling of leasing nowadays, it makes sense.

I would say from from a business point of view.

So if you’re out there and you’re thinking about, OK, well, how can I sort of apply this to my business or how can I apply this to my thinking around business ideas?

What you wanna be doing is you want to be going out there and looking at the platforms where there’s a lot of user generated content, but it’s quite a generic platform. So you want to be looking at places like read it. You want to be looking at places like YouTube. You want to be looking at Pinterest and other places you want to look at are platforms that offer very broad services. So another one. So we’ve talked about Zappia. So in Zambia, you have these sort of service to service integrations where you can hook up automated things happening between two different services. Now, a lot of people might want to specifically integrate to services for a reason. So maybe it is the RSS of your blog and some e-mail provider because you want automatic emails to go out every time you publish in a blog post. Now, you could create a specific product that just did that. So that when Pete, that gives far more configuration options and fancy bells and whistles and things like that, which is Appia can’t offer because up here is just a general list of that kind of platform.

Another place that’s a good idea to look is in places like Udemy. So places which offer a wide swathe of content or products about courses and learning and things like that, you could take specific niches or subsets of some of those courses, things that are happening on you to make and make something more out of it, make it more of a community, make it more of a sharing, doing, learning kind of thing, rather than just sitting there and watching a particular video. So I think there’s lots of opportunity for unbundling out there. There’s loads and loads of business ideas. The. You know, you can think about and and sort of apply to your thinking. Hopefully we can do some sort of interesting thoughts and sparked off a few ideas. We’ll leave it there. Thank you very much for listening. We’re going to be back next week with some more grandstanding and pontificating. In the meantime, please cheque out our YouTube channel, which is where we post this and our other podcasts. You can search for net workers in YouTube or you can find the link in the show notes. If you’re interested in a deeper dive into all things entrepreneur, help mentorship courses. Please do cheque out our Web site. That is that networkers dot org.

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