The Value Plan: Live Case Study #1 - Metabirds

Metabirds Week 2: Shimaya-san & LRTC Candidates

Hi everyone!

So before we head into the nitty-gritty for this week, it’s time for a recap!

In the first week, the team covered the first two steps which form part of the first Building Block: Core Values and the Tombstone Analysis.

Core values should be easily understood, provide purpose and aid in the decision-making process.

We narrowed it down to 4 values, namely:

  1. Acceptance and Understanding
  2. Freedom to Express
  3. Togetherness
  4. Identity Preservation

The tombstone analysis is quite lengthy, so please refer to last week’s post.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s activities:

Interview with Shimaya-San

On Wednesday, March 15th, the team had the pleasure of interacting with Metabirds’ founder over Skype. There wasn’t an inherent structure to the meeting, but it was important that we cover several important story beats in order for us to deliver a wholesome package to him after going through the entire Value Plan.

He shared his thoughts on aforementioned core values, and suggested that we add something that harkens to the creation of new, valuable things [the team went back to drawing board and revised them]:

  1. Acceptance and Understanding
  2. Freedom to Express
  3. Togetherness

    Source: Metabirds

  4. Identity Preservation
  5. Inspire Creation

Nayoushi also asked for some clarification regarding the tombstone analysis or the 5 whys. He agreed with the analysis, much to the relief of the team!

He also took us through the history of Metabirds, the current capabilities of its flagship product, Botbird [available on Twitter, LINE, Facebook, iOS & Android], the feature roadmap, the company’s current clientele, its competitors, and recent marketing practices.

All in all, the team left the conversation with a better grasp of what Metabirds entails, and what Shimaya-san wants to convey via his company and chatbots.

Step 3: Figuring out the LRTC

Only a few lucky companies can claim to have EVERYONE as their customer; the remaining companies have to seek out a target market and proceed from there. However, we argue that simply having a target market is not enough. The world is increasingly globalized, leading to national/international competition for time, attention and money.

As such, this is where the critical LRTC comes into play. The Lightning Rod Target Customer is the easiest to build brand advocates. Please note that it is not easy.

After our conversation with Shimaya-san, the team went to our (virtual) drawing board and threw all sorts of possible candidates on the wall. While we would like to say they had a battle royale, Mad Max style…the reality is that research was conducted and using a process of elimination based on:

  • Whether they actually exist (you don’t want phantom customers);
  • If the potential market is large enough to be profitable;
  • If the potential benefits outweigh the marketing costs, which may or may not be significant and;
  • If we can reach them via different digital (and analog) channels.

Sometimes building a psychographic profile helps, if you’re so inclined.


The last candidates standing (from top to bottom) were:

1 – For educational purposes, mainly for internal use such as chatbot creation (similar to codeacademy) and employee support

2 – Legacy chatbots, colloquially known as grief bots: online bots who represent people that have departed the Earth

3 – Otaku due to their purchasing habits

4 – Traditional retailers for all manners of customer service

NB: Remember that businesses and consumers are all actors in the marketplace (A2A).

Next week, we’ll go in-depth with regards to the above candidates and also delve into the Problem Worth Solving (PWS).

Remember folks, the Value Plan is a 12-step program, so we still have some work to do. To Value Plan subscribers, we’d highly recommend using the worksheet. That can be found here. Join us next week!

P.S.: If you any questions for the team, don’t be shy!

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