I read the reflections of a successful investor recently. Most of his insights had to do with why he and his team had been successful. One factor is that they focused on a sector that was target rich—meaning the incumbents were highly profitable in comparison with other companies globally. These incumbents weren’t keeping up with changing consumer behavior, though, so the sector was in need of modernization.
This was an interesting insight. Large, highly profitable companies were solving problems, creating value for customers. But their solutions weren’t keeping up with the pace of change, so they were outdated. This created an opening for a new solution.
This investor identified companies that were solving well-known problems. There was no need to wonder if the problem was painful enough for customers to pay for a solution; that had already been validated. The market size had also been validated by the incumbents’ large and profitable businesses.
This investor believes that investing in a target-rich sector significantly increased his chances of success. He thinks an average investor in a target-rich sector can win out over a great investor in a sector full of great competitors.
I like this reflection, and I think it’s a strategy some founders can leverage too. Focusing on a sector or problem that’s proven and ripe for disruption will likely increase your chances of success (assuming you have founder/market fit).