Episode 4 – What Concept Should We Choose?

(6 min reading)

Hi and welcome! 🙂

Today’s post is about the idea behind AppForFans and all process the concept has been through. Our concept has changed 700 times, before ending up with the concept.

It has been back and forward, up and down, and discussions for hours.
I know it is like that in sport, and I guess it is the same in start-ups. Sometime you set a gameplan, but ending up doing some adjustments as you find out some solutions might be better.

The Old Original
I entered this project a bit later than Thomas, Michael and Niels. The idea was all Thomas’, he had been working on it for some months, before he took the initiative to write to me.

He introduced me for the “old” concept, App4Fans.
The concept was fundamentally as what we know – Providing a place for athletes to involve their fans, at the same time providing athletes options to brand and optimize their sponsors.
The main difference was, at the time, it was only possible to get personal apps for a fee. Athletes did have the opportunities to insert sponsors, but this did cost a fee as well to App4Fans.
The concept was intended as a supporting tool for the existing social medias, but with the twist of having a unique personal app.

I really liked the idea, but we located some challenges as well.

  • How can we make it even more attracting using our media, besides having a unique app?
  • Why should an athlete pay us, to insert one of their sponsors in their app?
  • How do we differentiate our app from the existing social medias?
  • In the beginning, we thought of inserting Google Ads in the apps
    • But how could we make sure of the content of these ads? We do not want ads, that conflicts with the athletes’ sponsors
    • To create revenue with Google Ads, it requires a huge number of clicks. Is that even possible?

There were many questions to be answered… But the fundamental idea of creating a platform for athletes to brand and optimize sponsors, that surely was there.

The New Original
When I entered the project, we started changing the name from App4Fans to AppForFans. The main reason was to make it simpler, once we said our app name.

Thomas and I started telling about the old original idea to people we knew. Surprisingly, we got a lot of positive feedback, but… They all asked about the same questions as above.

We started looking into the prices we had set, but we realized that our prices could cut off a lot of athletes, not because it was expensive, but because nobody is “used” to pay for apps.
If you looking into your smartphone, you probably find very few or perhaps no apps that you pay for? Everything is pretty much for free, at least they are on mine except Spotify.

Decision made, of course AppForFans had to be free of charge for athletes!
We want to create an attractive media for athletes, that is probably not done through throwing bills to be paid in their hands.
By removing our fees, we as a company would probably lose some revenue, but as said, the purpose of all this are the athletes, their fans and sponsors!

Some time ago, I had a conversation with Jesper who is working with sponsorships and event management, he questioned “Why don’t you make the app valuable, by providing sponsorships for athletes?” moreover he started some thought on data, because how can AppForFans prove its worth?

The first question he asked Thomas and I had thought of ourselves, and Jesper confirmed our thoughts. The outcome of this conversation, has resulted in AppForFans being a provider of sponsorships, we function as a sort of “manager”.
The data has become an important part of our concept, it is in this area that we want to become better than everybody else. We want to display the value of a sponsorship, both for athletes and companies.

A Personal App or One App?
I sat googling around a random evening in Taipei, and saw the word community.
Somehow that word gave me something, because we didn’t really create a community by only having personal apps?

I grabbed my phone and gave Thomas a call, to discuss one app instead of only focusing on personal apps. My arguments were following:

  • We can create a sports community through one AppForFans.
  • For a lot of athletes, it is a big deal creating a Facebook fan page. From this to a personal app, that could be a huge barrier for many athletes.
  • I would as a fan, probably only download a limited number of apps on my phone.

Thomas wasn’t really over the moon receiving that call, actually he was quite frustrated about this “bomb” I dropped.
Not because, he didn’t agree. But because our app developers already had started working on thepersonal apps, and he had the exact same thought back then, when he started writing the first notes down, but decided to go another direction.
This change quite large change, would cost us time – A lot of time. Moreover, it would cost us money – A lot of money…

After a week of thinking, we agreed on creating one AppForFans was the right thing to do, and that is how we ended up having the concept.
This decision also meant, that we now “officially” was creating a social media – A thought, that scares us a bit.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Regards,

Flemming

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