Don’t everyone fall down in disbelief but Snapchat is full of it. It’s singular contribution to enterprise is how to use tech naiveté and imprecise language to bilk investors and users. The Snapchat team is delivering a product that has no value proposition, is easily copied or incorporated into existing products, and are themselves already copying other media delivery app players. They deny their product draws the most likely user case and let everyone believe there is a level of significant protection built into their technology.
So how can an investor sniff out the innovation of bullshit?
- Cursory technical examination: In other words, look at the product in it’s environment from the claims angle. Bring in your own technologist to test the explicitly identified features of the vendor. What really happens when the picture ‘disappears’?
- Basic contextual understanding: Follow up with some basic user research to identify implicit expectations. What does ‘disappear’ mean to the user?
- Find a business case for the product’s functionality: Identify the product’s core features and see if you can do something to add value to your day. Even if it doesn’t work well, there should at least be consensus on the whole point of using the thing. What value can anyone derive from ‘disappearing’ media?