Hi everyone and welcome to the first article on this blog (since I am a geek, I will call the previous article on this blog as the zeroth article 😆). Read the summary right below if you’re in a hurry.
👉 Average reading time: 6 minutes
👉 Scope: At this article we will be reviewing a startup. I plan to review more startups 🚀 and also review some Entrepreneurship or nonfiction books 📚 in future articles of this blog.
👉 Goal: The goal of review articles will be, just like a journal club in academia, is to critically evaluate startups or books in order to: (a) improve our understanding on Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Product Management and the likes (b) learn or discover good practices, (c) share new ideas and their implementation and (d) use this ideas or good practises in our daily jobs. Of course the article is just the beginning of the discussion, since we expect your comments below, since we are all learning together in this journey! ⛵
👉 Audience: This article is targeted to (a) Founders or aspiring Founders who want to learn about how other Founders apply strategies and how they also execute these strategies (b) Professionals of any field who are sick and tired of LinkedIn 😤 for whatever reason (c) People who are interested in learning about a Tech startup who is currently crowdfunding.
👉 Summary: Read this article to learn about Bizfluence (BF)! BF is a new global social media platform which, according to its Founders, gives REAL value to small and medium enterprise (SME) professionals. And you guessed it correctly. This is another startup based in the US. Innovation is still very behind in Europe and in other places of the world.
Let’s meet the Founders
Behind every great product, there are some great Founders. The main idea can pivot, the product can change, but the Product Vision remains the same because of the Founders leading the whole effort. Even though other startups have very little to no information online, BF has his whole Pitch Deck online since it is currently crowdfunding. 💸
Meet Joel and Jacob! Here’s the background of the two Founders in their own words, according to Wefunder:
As we can see, a very nice blend of a technical CEO and a business-oriented CMO.
Full disclosure in the spirit of honesty: I did invest in this startup (it was actually my very first investment in a startup, woohoo! 🤑) as part of their crowdfunding on Wefunder even though I did not know any of the Founders at the time. Read the rest of the article to see why I believe BF is a great product and what convinced me to invest (at the time of writing, the crowdfunding round was still open to the public).
Let’s look at the business model
What do Founders have to say about the product?
We asked Joel through the chat feature 📨 of Bizfluence and here is what he said.
Q: So, what is Bizfluence?
Bizfluence isn’t really a social [media] platform. It is an ecosystem. We are building a platform where business professional can interact, transact, and use an entire suite of productivity tools all in one seamless place.
Q: What is a practical example of an ideal user (i.e. persona) for Bizfluence?
Think about a marketing agency for example. They can meet prospective clients, showcase their services, sell marketing packages, organize their contacts into a CRM [Customer Relationship Management software], hire new employees, find office space and on and on.
However, the revenue model of Bizfluence seems to be very different from traditional social media (e.g. LinkedIn). The latter want to maximize the interaction time, since they make money by showing ads. BF wants to change this and a have a revenue model similar to that of Substack (the one you’re currently using to read this article), thus, making LinkedIn and Fiverr indirect competitors.
In general, a Marketplace can choose to have any or all of the following revenue models 💰:
Membership fee (or subscription fee)
Featured listings and Advertising
So the way Founders keep describing the product in their posts from inside the products (yes, the Founders directly interact with users!) is by eliminating the “noise” and giving actual value to their users, the SME professionals. Therefore, Joel and Jacob are trying to create a unique movement. In other words, BF is envisaged to be a platform that will foster REAL business deals and not just a boring newsfeed dictated by censorship algorithms. Of course BF is still at an MVP stage (only nine months old), so we will wait and see the actual implementation. However, we really like their strategy!
Bizfluence vs LinkedIn
Many users seem to like this approach and they abandon LinkedIn or sometimes LinkedIn has several users ‘permanently restricted’ (i.e. deplatforms them forever) under various false pretextes, a very unprofessional (and nonsensical) move from a professional social media platform, leaving them no other option than BF. LinkedIn has been transformed during the last six months or so into a controversial platform that has been notorious for censoring scientific or medical content 🤐 even when shared by top professional and from very reputable scientific or official sources (read more here and here). As a matter of fact, I was a victim of unprofessional deplatforming by LinkedIn too, 😒 even though I was a registered user of BF before that. Actually, as soon as you join BF, criticism on the unprofessional moderation or deplatforming by LinkedIn is one of the hottest topics of discussion. Hopefully such discussion will make Founders avoid the pitfalls of LinkedIn. 😐
Let’s see the product
Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with LinkedIn for much longer. Currently, the BF is at the MVP version, but has had great achievements in terms of Product Development. Users have been giving feedback and suggestions like crazy (myself included 🤓) through a (third-party) dedicated website that records such feedback. Really, every Tech startup should be doing this to gather feedback, suggestions and ideas from its users and clients.
However, Jacob, the CEO, has announced that Bizfluence 2.0 will be drastically improved from the current version. He announced this from his profile on BF. It is expected to be released in a few weeks and he publicly shared on BF how it will look like. So, let’s have a glimpse at the future by looking at the screenshots of BF 2.0.
A touch of gamification
Bizfluence also has a touch of gamification 🕹️ through a leaderboard of the “most reputable users”.
Even though we find this leaderboard to be somewhat primitive, we really like the idea and we expect to see improvements at later versions of the platform.
What users have to say
I have publicly asked users to comment below a post of mine on BF on what they believe about BF, so check below their replies! 📝 Their profile pictures and surnames were omitted due to privacy reasons, as I promised to them.
First of all that it exists; if not, someone would still have to invent it and Joel had done a pretty nifty job with it. I'm allergic to censorship and political straightjackets but the other platform [LinkedIn] is too big and robotized so it's its own victim, i.e. after I complained about a troll a month ago, I see: "Please keep LinkedIn respectful and professional. Learn more" every time I post a comment and I find it very annoying, because it implies that the troll was right.
In the tech world, you see visions often. What you don't often see is the relentless can-do attitude needed to bring a vision to reality.
The Bizfluence vision of providing people with a proper platform to connect and conduct business has managed to pull thousands. It's gravitational, because we all need it, and we recognize that the platform, and the team behind it, has what it takes.
On LI [LinkedIn] and other media one is constantly trying to increase connections / followers in hopes that their posts will be seen or liked by many so meaningful business transactions can be conducted. On BF all of your posts are seen by all as soon as you join.
No need to worry about connections as BF has accomplished this with the service / platform. Instant status / voice .... all you have to do is perform.
Overall, more than 10K users have joined (at the time of writing this article) and many more join every day. And this is without spending anything on Marketing, according to the Founders. So, this is quite impressive! 😎 Also, as soon as someone joins, they receive a very warm welcome, something that many users liked and cited as the reason why they keep using the platform. 🤗
Join Bizfluence, it’s free!
Feel free to use my affiliate link below to register for free on Bizfluence:
Using my affiliate link above, I get to win cool promotional merchandise by BF. I would consider this as a token of your appreciation if you liked the article and felt that you benefited from it. 😊
Sign up now so you don’t miss the next article.
In the meantime, share this article with your friends!
Even better, boycott Big Tech social media and share this article on Gab!
Feel free to add your comments below! 💬
At the time of writing this article, the author had participated at a crowdfunding round in Bizfluence through Wefunder and hence, he is expected to own preferred equity at Bizfluence soon after this article was written.
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