It’s like the four letter word that so many of us fear to even utter. If there’s a competitor, then we’re doomed. Right?
If we’re launching a startup for a product or service that has never existed, then, of course, there will be no competitors (yet). But that is not 99.9% of us.
Most of us are creating a company that more elegantly, or more efficiently, cheaply, wirelessly, etc., solves an existing problem.
Ex: nobody needed a camera in their pocket all the time. Actual cameras, ones that could fit in your pocket, solved our *need* for instant photo gratification. But cram it into your phone, and suddenly there’s a multi-billion dollar market for camera apps, photo sharing, and so on.
Launching into an existing space is actually a good thing. It proves there is demand.
If any investor or family member ever asks “why are you doing this when [Household Name Co] already does it?” Don’t cower and wonder how you’ll ever stay afloat. Answer back with confidence:
They’re proving there is an enormous need for this. And there is no way they can serve the entire market. That leaves a huge opportunity for me!
But here’s the kicker. You better KNOW who the players are.
Don’t approach your business in ignorance. Know the landscape. Know why certain offerings are good, bad, expensive, cheap. And know where and why your product fits into that.
Not every customer is your customer. So target appropriately (and especially target where the big players are ignoring people).
Everyone thought the mobile carriers had text messaging locked up. Then along came WhatsApp. This little company that created a simple mobile app that let you text anyone on the planet (over your data plan).
Today, WhatsApp (with around 100 employees) does almost 2X as many daily text messages as every world telecom company combined. 🔥 Let that sink in.
I helped to create the market for mobile payments, like Square, but that didn’t mean we weren’t making a boatload of revenue just because there were competitors. It just meant that it was a great idea and there was a lot of room to do well there.
Bottom line is that we should all welcome competition. but we have to be aware of it, and leverage our strengths to succeed in the midst of it.
How are you standing out from the pack? Do you know who your competitors are? Do you know how to beat them? 👊