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Unique Value Proposition

As mentioned in my first post, one of the main challenges we are facing with CodifyMe is to create our Unique Value Proposition (UVP). In other words, what makes CodifyMe different and worth getting attention?

Ever since I found out there is a direct competitor to our product, I have been struggling with this question. On one hand there is the “I can always make a better product” school of thought, which is supported by the notion that most successful brands today (Google, Apple, Facebook, etc) are not the first to do what they do. On the other hand, I am convinced that if I can’t identify (or create) at least one UVP (or what I call the Unicorn Feature) for my product, this journey is perhaps not worth taking, or I should already start pivoting now.

Running Lean states that your UVP should distill the essence of your product into a few words that can fit in the headline of your landing page. It should highlight the benefits as oppose to the features of the product (e.g, “you save time” vs “it runs 10x faster on your computer”). The key to unlocking your UVP is to derive it from the number one problem you are trying to solve.

For CodifyMe, I have been plagued with doubts that it will be far too similar to CodeMentor.io. Over the past few weeks, I did come up with a few things we can do differently:

  • target a different geographic location: that was when I decided CodifyMe should focus on the Australian market.
  • target a different demography: beginners in coding/women who code?
  • focus on only one technology: e.g., a ‘CodeMentor for Drupal’
  • price: charge less. But this hangs on the rates of the experts, and we want to avoid having cheap but sub-quality experts on board.
  • unique technology: create a technology or platform in the form of an API or plugin that is ‘portable’ and can be used (read: sold) independently.

The last point appeals the most to me, but is also the most difficult to achieve. If we could create a technology, or a bundle/package that we could later market as a standalone product, that could make us attractive as a partner (for coding schools, for example) or increase our value to potential buyers. I am thinking along the lines of an Intellectual Property here. I am not a big fan of IPs, and would avoid patenting anything if I can. The point I am trying to make is that this technology should be unique and could potentially disrupt conventions, or least provide an improved user experience.

If I would summarise this unique technology in one sentence, it would be: a technology that allows seamless knowledge sharing through the internet, without users having to install any additional software or plugins. 

I will probably need to refine this. But the keywords that I am thinking of are “seamless”, “cloud infrastructure” and “API”.

Google Hangout kind of has all the features that is needed (screen sharing, video and audio, chat), but is not built specifically for educational purposes. One additional feature we can provide is for example a collaborative code editing function. This would be kind of like a cross between google doc and notepad++, where we have syntax highlighting, and more ambitiously, compiling and debugging functions.

I am not sure if this is achievable, so perhaps right now the best thing to do is to work on the first four points to come up with my preliminary UVP.

 

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