I miss Melbourne Cup.
I miss going out with workmates and spending an afternoon talking sh*t and being silly - like when Stefan threw beer glasses into the Brisbane river rather than taking them back to a table, or Bona karate kicking someone on the bus, or the riotous laughter that rolled with every minute.
An early startup like VIVA doesn't offer those things. I guess I could ask Syed, Nicola, Ian, Matt and everyone else hop in their cars and drive to a centrally inconvenient location to throw beer glasses, karate kick and laugh at ourselves... but somehow that seems selfish and causing people to exert too much effort. Today, I feel a greater admiration for someone like Mark who has been running his own company for nearly 10 years.
Desire to be social < Desire to be lazy
That is a funny little equation I have been pondering - speaking generally - we are fundamentally social creatures, but we are also fundamentally lazy creatures. There seems to be a balance between active socialising and inactive conservation of energy, with an unclear point where one turns into the other.
Whether someone leaves their couch depends on how we can increase the desire to be social or decrease the desire to be lazy. So, how do we do those things is a question I have been asking myself this morning.
Interestingly, this question ties to the fundamental question I have been asking myself in the last week:
Does VIVA have longevity?
Longevity might not be the best word.
The questions are - will people use VIVA a second time? Will people use VIVA a third time? Will people use VIVA again and again? Therefore, will VIVA survive in the longer run?
If we can make people feel good every time they open VIVA, then we would have moved a long way to solving the problem of the return user.
Jamie, an ex-Googler who founded of an app called Cahoots, told me about a year ago that he felt the competitor to an app like VIVA was text messaging. I think he is half right - text messaging is a core component of how people organise their social lives because we are social creatures, but text messaging only allows people to relay information within the social circle. Text messaging does not allow discovery of information outside of the social circle, nor does it allow relay of information between event organiser and the social circle.
Is there much room for injecting information?
After the conversation with Jamie last year, I started to think about whether there is much room for injecting information into a social circle. If social circles have already been formed, and the social circle already has life, then what is the good of an external information source?
To be continued another time.