How do hip hop artists become legendary. Is it that one line about the bling and a pair of yeezys? Is it the crew they join? Or is is the band wagon effect, meaning since my friends like such and such so should I? This question could be perplexing but it shouldnt be at all. Artists create legacys by creating things that people love!
Yeezy taught me!
Kanye West caught a lot of hate due to 808s & HeartBreaks. Some people said thats not the Kanye I know, so I cant rock with it. Some people were not ready for Kanye’s transformation but after a while fans of his gravitated to the music. They could not deny it. The transformation was different but people still fell in love with it. I remember seeing a tweet from a my friend @bdotdub which said
Nope he’s not the only one that loved that album, it went on to become a platinum album spawning hit after hit. Kanye West made something completely different but it was still something people would love after being exposed to it. This is called progression and disruption. He gave his fans something they didn’t think they needed or expected but he knew they would eventually appreciate and love it. He went above and beyond by switching his style. This is whats seperates the one hit wonders from the legends. You can never lose when you create things that people will love. Another great example of this would have to be the Black Eye Peas, we discussed their pivot in this post. They figured out how to make music that people would love, not just music they would listen to. That pivot proved to be a huge success. They realized why they were doing it. They wanted mainstream fans to love them and they succeeded.
Alexis taught us!
Alexis Ohanian has been the face of the making something people love campaign in the NYC tech scene. Who is he? He cofounded Reddit, BreadPig and helped with Hipmunk. He is very passionate about this topic so i suggest you listen and learn from him as much as possible. Alexis goes into great details about creating something that people will love over in this video. In the General Assembly lesson, Alexis started out by stating that in order to create something people will love, you must create something people want. What exactly does this mean? He is saying that you must solve or work on a problem that people are actually having. With Hipmunk, he noticed that booking flights really did suck. The experience was horrendous and tedious. The team first worked on solving that problem, then worked on making it a product people would love. To begin, founders would have to give a damn, they would have to know exactly why they were doing it. To build something people will love Alexis suggests that we focus on three things. First a brand must build a community around the problem and solution. Build a community by adding value to the people having a problem. A great community breeds interest which in turn makes more people want to join the community to add even more value. People love to be part of something, so focus on little things such as 404 pages to set yourself apart. Find little things that will make people say wow I love the product, I can’t believe they care about the little things. The second focus of his lesson would be the connection between your business and its customers. This means that companies should treat its customers like friends and family. This will pay huge dividends later on because it builds trust. By going above and beyond for your customers, you establish value and love around your brand. You can now communicate with your community, anyone with a startup will tell you that a connection like this is priceless. This can be done by simple hand written notes, or even using social media to actually interact with your customers. Give a damn about them, no really give a damn about them. The third focus would have to be design or the user experience. A brand must always worry about its user experience since the attention span online is pretty low. If its hard for a user to find the information that they need, or hard for them to navigate your site they will go else where. Alexis most quotable line would have to be, “your UX tells me how much you respect me.” Make the user experience easy on the eyes and on the mind for a much better retention rate. Definitely something we will be working on more and more at The Phat StartUp.
Cant be a Genius without Rap!
A startup that has been killing it by making something people love has to be our friends over at Rap Genius. They realized that a lot of folks search for lyrics via google. Before they were around you had to deal with sites that just offered a horrible experience. They realized that lyrics were just a piece of what people wanted when searching for lyrics. They added a twist that really sets them apart. Here you can find lyrics to the hottest tracks out but can also find an explanation about the verse in a track. Line by line a community of hip hop lovers translate lines in a verse while the rest of the community can vote on the best explanation. This adds a huge amount of credibility to the site which translates to a huge amount of traffic and love. The level of engagement on Rap Genius rivals some of the more popular sites like facebook. People love it big time which translates to repeat visitors and rapid growth. I dare you to visit the site and not revisit again. I bet you cant do it! This is because they have made something people love and feel apart of. They have also realized that people want to translate more than just hip hop and are expanding to other niche markets. This will solidify their presence online. They started with a basic concept that had a horrible user experience associated with it, socialized it, then expanded by offering more. Big win for hip hop lovers and its founders.
Lets get it!
As a start up or small business sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves by just doing what we like. While this might get you initial traction and such it wont guarantee longevity. In order to make your mark and stand out you have to create things that people love. Your core aspects should be what people can really gravitate to. Build something that people will love to use. It doesn’t have to look perfect, just look at craigslist, but it has to be something people want to use every single day and it must be easy to use. Take a step back from the product and ask friends for feed back. Ask people a few questions like is this easy to use? Is this something you would use every day? The most important question should be is the user experience something you will brag to your friends about? If you hear negative reactions to these questions, rethink how your business operates and make adjustments. Your idea can be great but if people do not love the way your product is presented or used then it will be a rough ride. Always ask, why am I doing this, and why should others care about this? By clearly defining this, you can then focus on the delivery.
We will be highlighting businesses and brands that people love, so if you know of someone crushing it in this space please let us know. We are committed to bringing our community the information that they want and need!
James Lopez | @imjamesjlopez