“Women as a Market”
Bad investors ask about market size.
Good investors ask about market growth rates.
Great investors believe new markets get created. — @sama
There is so much loaded in that simple Sam Altman statement. It is a summary of his Y-Combinator thesis.
If you look at all their recent interests and investments, they are looking for new markets. New markets are typically NOT “intersections”, they are usually “Unions”. New markets are where the greatest growth opportunities lie. They subsume high growth rates and size eventually.
Look at “Tress” for instance, one would think it is an intersection of women’s hair and an online photo app, nothing could be further from the truth. With one app, Tress has just created a unique and interesting marketplace for African Women hair products and services. Tress is currently part of the Y-Combinator Fellowship.
“Women Focused Apps” are surprisingly a new market in a World where women have existed from the very beginning but have been ignored or glossed over. Women are the gems of the population, figuratively and literally.
From luxury products to daily use products, women have needs that have created multi-billion dollar industries already but we are not seeing it. They have always been there in plain sight. An open secret.
We have always been wrong about women generally but female entrepreneurs are never wrong about products they build for that “demographic”. I put “demographic” in quotes because we have been seeing women as a “demographic” rather than a market. We have all been wrong.
“Women as a Market” is the biggest open secret since the dawn of civilization.- Victor Asemota
Women are a distinct market. Women embrace difference and live difference. There is so much nuance in a market for women that there are several demographics within it.
Difference is a virtue with women. Every woman craves to be unique and to stand out. Women are different from men in a lot of ways and very few products online celebrate that difference. “Tress” highlights and celebrates this difference. The funny thing is that in their “difference”, there is union. There is “Co-diversity”.
It is the greatest secret in the fashion and cosmetics industry, it is the reason why the ladies section at a department store can be a whole floor, while the men’s section is just a corner. Men naturally want to conform, women naturally want to be different. They embrace variety.
This open secret is what a lot of those creating products online have failed to realize. There is great potential in a market that celebrates or encourages nuance and difference. The female market can also easily be segmented at a certain level and there is usually not too much ambiguity about specific and general needs for “difference” in each demographic.
It is easier to grow products very rapidly in a market for women because of this need for variety, and it is why a startup like “Hijup” selling muslim attire for muslim women can become insanely popular.
Convention has always assumed that muslim women are not as fashionable or as fashion conscious because of religion. Convention has never been more wrong. Even by geography or race, there are several female markets for products, yet to be explored online. The trick is not to see them as intersections.
The day a lady on Facebook wanted to travel from Nigeria to meet me in Silicon Valley to help her go “beg Facebook” to reopen her page that was closed, was the day I woke up. Her page on Facebook was where she showcased bags that she sells. Her sales were at least $100k of bags monthly. No website. No noise.
A friend created a secret group for Nigerian females to discuss issues discretely and had tens of thousands of members in less than a week. She had to create a new platform outside when she hit the crazy numbers.
Another great secret about women markets, is that they are a gateway to other markets. Children, family etc….especially Financial Services.
“If insights that look so elementary in retrospect can support important and valuable businesses, there must remain many great companies still to start” — Peter Thiel
“The Age of Women” has come in technology, there will be fierce competition for new markets. Nobody understands competition better than women, they do it daily with themselves. They are also doing it now with men and winning in every sphere from business to politics.
Maybe next year, the world will wake up to realize in politics that the age of women has truly come. In technology it is already here. Female techies are already the best at whatever they do because of one simple reason — focus.
“The Age of Women” is one of “Co-Diversity” and “Focus”. Men cannot understand that. It all sounds complex to us, but it is simple to women. We will never know what hit us.