Plancast dies in USA, JihuaFM rises in China

Jihuafm

Funny that just last week I discover this new Chinese service, jihua.fm, finally a copycat of Plancast in China.

And this week, Mark Hendrickson Plancast CEO announces to give up the product because the market is not propice.

I actually disagree and I feel in his analysis that he compares his service way to much to mainstream platform like Twitter and Instagram (you share anything with everybody).

Plancast is different, it is more of a productivity tool, it is make to:
1) spend lest time looking for interesting event
2) go to events you are interested with friends who have the same interest than you
3) cut the time-consuming step of calling-up / sending email to selected friends to ask them if they want to go with you.

Maybe Mark was not an event planner so have no clue of the added value of this service. His cause is very noble – promote sharing and good plan in an open manner, but it seems to me he has a uni-dimensional vision of his own service.

Here are all the difficulties he met building Plancast, frankly I don't see any of them like a real problem….

Sharing Frequency

Most of your users wont share often. What is important is your 10% who shares every week, because they position themselves a truely passionate/so expert in something. Anything (punk, art exhibition, hackathon, cupcake tasting…). These users are your evangelist, the one who will create interesting content, for free and see added value of doing it (1-altruism, 2- they are seen as cool by people with the same interest).

Consumption Frequency

"People also don???t proactively seek out events to attend as you might suppose." – Wrong. We all do, only most of us give up if it is too difficult to find the information. And that is what Plancast was solving. What it means is just that your platform was not perfect yet and people didnt find events as easily as they wished. Listen to your user feedbacks.

Tendency to Procrastinate

Sure, we all dont want to commit. That is why you could have a "maybe" button so people don't feel guilty if they dont attend. And Plancast was there to make people procrastinate less, you find a event you might be interested, say "maybe" you go, a good friend sees it, say "maybe" too, plus another one, plus another…at the end you call them up and you go together.

Incentives to Share

"An important exception is to be made for professionals who style themselves as influencers and want to be instrumental parts of how their peers discover events."
Exactly??it is a BIG exception, these guys are your core market!!!!

Selectivity & Privacy Concerns

Nothing that can not be solved. We all have public and private events, we need to share both but differently. Offer us options.

The Importance of an Invitation

People who need an invitation to attend a talk is not your target. The only invitation you need to attend an open event is knowing at least one good friend of you will be there.

Content Lifespan

Plancast kind of content is maybe boring for the mainstream but goldmine for event organizer, marketer…!!!! As iWeekend organizer, I would love to know that this girl attended iWeekend in Beijing, Spain….and the date she went there! It is awesome tools to build community! I can't event believe he is saying that.

Geographic Limitations

duh!

Looking Forward

Mee too. No doubt the Chinese will do better (as they did with Sina Weibo –improved Twitter).

As for Plancast, I would love to take it back and combine it with my future event planning tool / iWeeeknd community building project 🙂

About Carole (code name 烤肉)

I work in tech since 2008, moved from Reunion island to Paris, Beijing, San Francisco and ended up in Berlin in 2014.
This entry was posted in Being an entrepreneur, Being an event organizer, Tech. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s