Ep 45 – On Traction, Partnerships, and The Knowledge Advantage – with Malek Nasser and Sach Jobb

malek & sachInformation is probably companies’ strongest asset. Having a knowledge advantage in your industry, not only leads to better decision making, but it also makes it very hard for any competitor to catch up. But to get knowledgeable, one should not be afraid to say “I don’t know” and ask people. Those who fake it will never learn. And those who don’t learn won’t get that critical advantage.

My guests today have understood this valuable lesson after running their business in the music industry for over 10 years. Malek Nasser and Sach Jobb are the co-founders of iFlyer, Asia’s biggest source of music news, festival, club and concert information.

They explained how they initially got out of the chicken-and-egg problem that most marketplaces face at the begining. They also share with us about the importance of getting a first client reference, especially in Japan. Indeed, in this country, nobody wants to be the first, but nobody wants to be the last either.

Today iflyer has evolved into a connected network of music actors, including venues, promoters and artists, and is listing 5,000+ events a month. In this episode, Malek and Sach also share the story of their partnership with TicketPia, Japan’s largest ticketing company, and the valuable lessons they’ve learnt along the way.

With more than 250,000 unique visitors a month, iFlyer keeps growing and is now targeting expansion outside Japan. That said, Malek and Sach remind us the importance of keeping focused and the danger of diversification.

Questions: In a marketplace business, who do you consider first? How can you become more knowledgeable about your industry? (reply in the comments)

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  • (0:25) Introduction of Malek and Sach
  • (2:25) The magic number: 34%
  • (4:12) The relativity of saturated markets
  • (8:36) Discover night club events
  • (13:12) Getting traction in a marketplace
  • (15:44) Many types of users
  • (20:19) A Major partnership
  • (26:45) Keeping focus
  • (29:39) Expertise and the knowledge advantage
  • (34:50) Competition doesn’t matter
  • (37:42) Expansion
  • (41:22) Managing your network
  • (42:45) Selling an internal product
  • (45:04) Recommendations and sharing
  • (47:01) Quick-fire questions

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