Most of us are already aware of the points mentioned in bold below. Here’s a case study of SavitaBhabhi.com (Now Kirtu.com) in the same context.
1. Discover a problem: SavitaBhabhi found its nail in the form of need for Indian porn on the web. Although a lot of porn sites already existed but there was always space for more. From India there was nothing very successful until then. Random websites with cheap models in porn videos was always available but that wasn’t something that could create the next Penthouse or Playboy from India.
2. Create a kick ass product: Now that the problem was discovered, the right hammer for it was required. A hammer that has clear differentiator from its competitors. Thus Savita Bhabhi was born, the first Indian porn cartoon. This may not have really solved the problem for some but provided enough fodder for the users’ primitive brain to get excited. When there is a nail a hammer needs to be delivered and SavitaBhahi did that in a very innovative way without involving in the existing trend of porn videos that in some sense is equivalent to prostitution.
3. Deliver consistently: Unlike real porn with models, this would rather require creative and artistic people to produce. People with such skills do not usually want to be associated with anything that the society looks down upon. Still, the founder was able to pull in a dedicated team that delivered regularly. The comic is updated daily without any compromise on quality.
When delivering creative stuff, the creators generally tend to lose passion if they don’t see enough traction. SB managed it well by getting enough eyeballs from day one through regular press releases.
4. Dont expect the world to be fair, stop complaining and find a path around: Even though SavitaBhabhi.com was banned in India it continued to deliver consistently. There was a huge fall in its India traffic but people were still hooked through proxy sites, PDF downloads and other blogs that reproduced the content. Initially the founder did try to protest against the ban but later ceased it due to social/family pressure. The ban was unjustified but you cant lose energy fighting a battle you know you can never win. Fortunately, the ban was silently lifted after 6 months and by then the creators had already turned to plan B of launching new series.
5. Launch new features: When SB returned after the ban it came with 2 new comics under the umbrella of Kirtu. SB has not released any other notable feature/extension. Not sure if there is scope for any.
6. Good public relations: The SB fan forum is one of the most active fan community on web. This has been mostly possible due to the active participation of the SB team in the forum. Also, SB has managed to regularly be in the main stream media making sure new users are regularly added. SB has also manged to capitalize on its fan base by managing to get the cartoon translated into 10 Indian languages for free.
7. Business model: SB had no revenue for a long time and was only concentrating on growing the user base as expected by any web startup. They started showing ads soon after the ban. Meanwhile, they were also exploring avenues like product placement in the cartoon but given the low risk appetite of Indian marketeers this does not seem to be possible in recent future. Though it could do wonders to products meant for adult males. Meanwhile, with the new cartoon they have decided to explore a paid subscription model as well. It would be interesting to see if that would work in this market but i have my doubts. Also, it would have to fight reproduction/piracy by other blogs.
8. Future Growth: Spectra Multimedia Films is said to be producing a film based on SB. Given the popularity of SavitaBhabhi i think it would make complete sense to launch branded merchandise like condoms, Viagra, sex toys etc.
All said, we do realize that SB is not an India based startup. Hopefully we see some more real Indian startups kick ass like SB.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]