I have been involved with the GOAL App Project since its beginning. The App targets the overlap between two huge global population groups. 1.9 billion second language learners and 4 billion global football fans, with 1.4 billion directly accessible through the Social media platforms of the top 24 clubs. Our research shows that due to the global spread of the fan bases, 50% are highly likely to be learning a second language. That’s around 700m.
The original Idea
The concept belongs to Kevin Scott, an exiled Brummie living in Japan. Kevin is not only passionate he’s persistent. It’s down to him that this App exists. He took his experience of teaching English in Japan, starting soccer schools in partnership with Barcelona FC and worked to that there was a marriage to be brokered between the two. Kevin was in the audience at a session I led. He must have remembered it as 20 years later he got in touch!
Getting a Project off the ground
Most start-ups last no longer than a Premiership manager. They’re gone within the first two years. Often, it’s because it was never a business it was a hobby, or there’s too much idealism, or cash flow problems arrive early. The biggest problem, however, is sunk-cost fallacy: people put their own money in and want it to work. To avoid this do a premortem – plan for all the possible problems before they arrive.
Constructing a Business Plan
Build a Pitch Deck and test it out. That’s what Kevin and his colleagues did and had to do. You won’t find funding beyond your own pockets without doing so. The Deck has to show who you are and what makes you special; the opportunity; the market analysed; your competition and why, compared to you, they’re rubbish; the solution you provide and the key features of your product which provide it; your value proposition; the business model and the numbers; who’s involved and why they can be trusted with an investor’s money; the next steps.
Sticking to it
Another reason most start-ups don’t last is that people get dispirited if it doesn’t start to work quickly. As I write this on a spring morning in the UK Kevin has finished his day in Japan. He’s been engaged with triumph and disaster all day: that’s just the way it has to be.