“What can we do to create a better environment to attract and support start-ups and new small businesses and/or developers who want to break into the industry?”
People who desire success in this industry must understand that our value proposition to our potential customer is not what we sell but what we know!
Technology certainly will always play a strategic role, and today there are more real technology solutions than Vapor Ware. (The reality now is that there is great parity now on both hardware and software). In years past, a start-up in all areas of our business was challenged with hardware, which usually fell short of required performance, and software solutions that had more bugs and “gotchas” than actual solutions, both within an industry that did not understand the role of appropriate digital signage content. That experience means that a start-up today immediately stands on the shoulders of those who have successfully met these challenges of the past and engages the people who are the most important element to success.
To be successful, someone new to our industry has to invest the time to understand the industry, what it is and is not. For instance, it is not a local TV channel to carry advertising Rather, it is a powerful tool that can enhance, immerse, influence and actively engage people. Second, any new entry must learn how to separate themselves from the others that are swimming in the same lake. (I would have said pond 10 years ago, but this industry is much bigger now and deserves recognition of being more than just a small business opportunity.) Being successful at the outset means asking all the right questions to ask their potential customers in the beginning.
So what can this industry do to attract and support start-ups? 1) We provide them comprehensive education – connecting all the dots of the Digital Signage Eco-system, 2) We offer mentoring – because success breeds success – and whatever we have is contagious, and 3) We help new business start-ups make the personal connections they will need for success. (In other words, we provide them opportunities to meet those people who represent and can deliver on the components of the digital signage eco-system that they do not have in house.) They need to attend DSE and other trade shows with digital signage eco-system manufacturers or providers and take advantage of the education opportunities and meet the industry and seek a mentor with proven track history.
Remember, it’s all about the people and the experience they bring to the table.