Briefly discuss the business aspects of building a mobile app that serves the dogs-owners
Every dog has its day
Mike Young was contemplating his move from one side of Brisbane to the other while
walking Snow, his Siberian Husky, in the local park. After a week he had kind of figured
out a local route and Google Maps prevented him from getting lost. But he wondered
if there were no nicer routes or other, longer router for during the weekend.
Mike was feeling like a coffee, as he used to occasionally have on his old route. He
wondered if the local coffee shop he passed was as dog friendly as his old coffee spot.
Mike started playing with his new phone, a Google Nexus 5. He searched for the coffee
shop, but couldn’t find any information. Other dog owners must know, he thought, but
he didn’t see any other people walking their dog at this time of the day.
Then Mike started to think bigger. What if it would be easy to find out where every
dog-friendly coffee shops and restaurants were in a neighborhood, maybe with
recommendations and reviews? A kind of UrbanSpoon for dog owners? Finding out
new and interesting places to go and activities to do with your dog over the weekend
complemented with information on walking routes, parks, etc.
Mike had his vision: CityDog. An app for organizing and managing varied and
interesting activities with your dog.
Driving on to work at his application development company, Mike decided it was time
to stop developing for others and put out a product of their own. He called in his top
three people: Brad Willis (technical architect), Helen Daniels (graphic designer) and
Scott Robinson (head of sales and marketing).
He put the idea to them and asked them to think about it for a couple of days and then
they would sit down on Friday and sketch out a plan. Scott, being the proactive type,
went out and canvassed some friends of his in the pet care business to see whether
this idea was worth pursuing. He came back to the Friday meeting with some very
Why stop at coffee shops and restaurants? Pet shops, dog groomers,
pet attractions, etc. could also be included in this type of service. The
people I spoke with were keen. And maybe the providers of pet
products could be interested too? Moreover, there is also the option of
local advertising, which seems to be a growing trend for mobile
Mike also had some ideas.
We can provide information and reviews about local parks, coffee shops
and restaurants, and special dog-related attractions and events. We
can also suggest walking routes and maybe connect dog owners for
joint walks and activities and report a lost or found a dog. And maybe
also let them share photos, possibly even adding funny texts which
seem very popular on Facebook? And by the way, CityDog is not a
name I particularly like so any ideas for change are welcome.
Helen chipped in…
We can even let people track their walks over time and use game
elements such as setting goals and earning points, like a fitness app for
dogs. And maybe let them store some information about their dog-like
vet visits and vaccinations? Moreover, we may provide some special
information like medical and dog care in case of emergencies during a
Brad, however, was the kind of guy who always found the work to be done,
once the enthusiasm had worn off.
Don’t forget we have to not only build the front and back end but also
get the right content. We may also need a website in addition to an
app. And there are a couple of platforms for which we may have to
They decided to meet the following Friday to decide whether this idea was worth
pursuing. At the next meeting, Scott reported some market research into the pet care
According to the Australian Companion Animal Council (ACAC), there are
an estimated 33 million pets in Australia. In 2009 there were 3.41
million dogs with 36% of the just over 8 million households owning a
dog. This means at average 16 dogs for every one hundred people. In
2009 consumers spent AU$6.02 billion on pets, pet care products, and
services. Spending on dogs accounted for almost 60% or AU$3.6 billion.
Dog related expenditure has grown by 31% since 2005, with the
average dog owner now spending AU$1,056 per year on their pet. If we
somehow could get a slice of this market then the app could become
Moreover, there is a huge Asia-Pacific pet care market, which grew by
4% in 2012 to reach a value of US$11,325.3 million according to
MarketLine. Dog care is the largest segment, accounting for 43.8% of
the market's total value. Japan accounts for 50.8% of the Asia-Pacific
pet care market value. However, the Asian market may be hard to tap
Helen always had the interesting insight that artistic types have.
What about providing the app in different languages? While it is a nice
extra for the Australian market, it will be a must if we consider
Mike Young wrapped up the meeting with the following.
Ok. This is a good idea but we need to run for a 3-month trial to see
whether we can build a business model that will make money, is
doable, and will catch on in the marketplace. We will work as a team to
further develop the product and the business model and present it to
my venture capital friend from Ramsay Capital, Shane at the start of
April. He always insists that the presentation is in a particular format
set out in the attached email. Get to work!
From: Shane Ramsay [mailto:Les_Paul@ramsaycapital.com.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 11 March 2014 2:51 PM
To: A Mike Young
Cc: Dan Ramsay [mailto:SG@ramsaycapital.com.au
Subject: The usual presentation
Following our conversation today let’s set up a time to look at your new project.
In following the Ramsay way I want the presentation as a timed PowerPoint Show.
Each slide should have some speaking to it, explaining the content (not just reading it –
that annoys me). Everyone in the team must contribute to speaking over the slides
(make sure each one is identifiable).
The slide deck has to contain the following:
Who are the potential customers and what is the problem you are trying to solve?
There may be more than one type/segment.
What will be your product? What are the main features of the product? What benefits
will it provide to customers?
How are you going to make money? Where will your revenues come from? Note that
there may be more than one revenue stream.
What are the customer relationship and channels? How are you going to market your
product? This could be standard or digital marketing.
|Academic Level||College (3-4 years: Junior, Senior)|
|Subject Area||Business Studies|
|Paper Type||Case study|
|Number of Pages||2 Page(s)/1100 words|