We recently attended the Marketplace Conference and heard Travis Pittman speak. Travis is the Founder of a marketplace startup called TourRadar which connects tour operators with those that are interested in going on a tour. Cool idea.
Marketplace startups seem to be all the rage these days. There's reasons for optimism. There was a cloud era and where SaaS was where product manager flocked to. SaaS, workflow software or vertical market software or VMS are still very powerful to support businesses do what they do best. But SaaS for consumers is a bit harder and that's where B2B2C comes from and where software has evolved to support marketplaces.
Not every startup can be a marketplace and not every marketplace needs to start as a startup either. But there are powerful network effects that if you get over the hurdle of solving the "chicken or the egg" problem you're able to service your customers on 1 or many sides of the marketplace even better.
One of the things that Travis Pittman has mentioned in his talk at the Marketplace Conference was his emphasis on getting a few things right as he grew his marketplace startup, TourRadar.
One of things he mentioned was the essential hiring of Product Managers and Product Owners early in the process. He said that hiring them was essential to one being to leverage an established playbook and those experience product managers are critical catalysts for building, getting through the hurdle as things arise and getting the right product built for the right audience.
The words Travis used so that it's a "major uplift" and it's an investment to building and growing especially in the early stages.