High Concept Statement:
Confluent is a standard web browser and news RSS feed reader with one major twist: it helps you learn a foreign language without trying. Using your normal digital reading habits, whether it is nyt.com or BuzzFeed or even email, Confluent will replace some of the English words with words in your target foreign language.
Need or Demand:
The largest difficulty when learning a new language is getting the vocabulary. Grammar is relatively simple: you can memorize a few dozen rules and be all set. But vocabulary has to be slogged through, word after word.
I believe people don’t have the time or willpower to do vocabulary drills. They might stick to a routine for a few weeks but ultimately give up. By integrating vocabulary learning into preexisting habits (like reading reddit), we can free up people’s time while making them smarter!
Product / Service / Solution:
I believe these needs can be met by providing users with a seamless, integrated resource that injects foreign language vocabulary into their daily reading habits. Imagine if 1 word out of every 5 sentences you read online (regardless of the site) was in Italian (or whichever language you are trying to learn). This repeated, consistent exposure along with context clues will strengthen users’ retention and learning achievement while costing them little extra time.
The #1 value customers will get is the ability to learn without trying. They can read as much BuzzFeed as they normally do but learn as they go.
The largest competitor is DuoLingo, which provides foreign language education for free. I’ve done customer interviews in the past about their experiences. While DuoLingo is free, it’s content is highly limited. They give you simple sentences without much context or interest.
Confluent allows customers to read about the latest Trump administration policies while learning Spanish. The content is ever evolving and, by sheer design, custom tailored to each customer’s reading taste. Finally, our innovative business model leverages our customers natural competitiveness to earn a month of service for free!
Confluent will use the standard monthly subscription model but with a twist. I could charge, say, $5 a month for service but give users a weekly vocabulary quiz. For each point they get right, they receive a $0.01 discount / credit / reimbursement. So if they ace each quiz, they will only pay $1.
I could allow for bulk discounts, for example: 1 year of service for $52. If they ace each quiz week after week, they can potentially use the service for free!
I think this playfulness will allow us to stand out and make users more amenable to the initial pricing ask.