Why Your Market Matters

The market is a big factor in a start-up’s success. I was telling a founder that I was able to scale my start-up to over $10 million in annual revenue because of the market. Without a big and growing market, it wouldn’t have happened. Sure, I did some things right (and a lot wrong), but the market was key.

My company sold automotive products online. Most customers were individuals and small businesses. The parts we sold had historically been hard to locate and difficult to transport due to their large size. We built technology to aggregate inventory in a single place and optimize fulfillment and transportation.

That’s all fine, but the thing that allowed us to scale was the market. It was big and growing quickly. Consumers were rapidly adopting online shopping. Online shopping as a percentage of overall spend was increasing rapidly. People started with smaller items to get comfortable shopping online and eventually embraced the idea of buying large, bulky things like mattresses, couches, and auto parts online too. As the online market for bulky items expanded, we benefited tremendously. If consumers had never gotten into shopping for bulky items online, we never would’ve been able to scale the company to the level we reached.

It’s important to understand the market for the problem you’re solving. You can be a rockstar founder with a rockstar team and an amazing solution and still not scale your company quickly—because of the market.