Compete Using Your Unique Insight into Your Competition!

I’ve previously shared my thoughts on founders feeling like they have to come up with an Amazon-caliber idea to start a company. That’s a path, but there are others. I often meet with entrepreneurs who aren’t idea people but still make it work. They find (or stumble upon) a problem they want to solve. They research who else is solving the problem and learn how effective their solutions are in the eyes of customers. If customers are only partially satisfied, they set out to close the gap. These entrepreneurs don’t dream up a completely new solution; they make a better iteration of what’s already out there. They know what customers like and don’t like about it, so it makes sense. There are countless examples of companies like Facebook, Zoom, and others who used a similar playbook, and for good reason . . . it works.

If you take this path, you need to acknowledge that’s what you’re doing. When you explain your solution and vision, your pitch will go over much better with investors and recruits if you acknowledge that you have competition and articulate precisely how they fall short of customers’ expectations. You’ll be demonstrating that you have a unique insight that the market has missed. Your unique insight differentiates you from your competitors and will become the flag that others rally behind in support of you.

Unless you’re creating a new market, you have competition. Find a way to understand what your customers think of your competitors’ product or service. Being able to articulate this insight clearly could change the trajectory of your entrepreneurial journey!