Finding Opportunity in Complexity

I had a conversation with a founder who described how his business model works. It involves lots of external parties, government regulation, and execution within specific time frames. These complexities and other factors have kept others from pursuing the opportunity he’s going after. He’s learned to navigate it all and be successful, but it hasn’t been easy. Figuring it all out on his own has been frustrating at times. As I listened to him, I saw it a little differently. Complexity is his moat.

The complexity of what he’s doing is difficult to navigate. It takes time to figure out exactly how all the pieces work together, let alone execute successfully. The barrier to entry is tall and intimidating. That he knows how to surmount it is his secret sauce. He has a serious competitive advantage.

I like businesses like this. They aren’t sexy, and it takes time to grasp their complexity. But when you figure out how to execute scalably, you can unlock massive value. There likely aren’t many competitors. If your solution is really good, you’ll be able to tap into pent-up demand and build a big business.

Complexity turns off a lot of people—and because it does, it can be a huge entrepreneurial opportunity for someone determined to master it!