Competition is a Good Thing
When you do not have competition, you basically have no choice but to evangelize like a madwoman to get your company’s name and products out there.
First market advantage?
Being first to market can be scary for a startup but it is truly the best/worst problem to have. While it is great to be a category or market killer as you work on attracting investors–people get excited about the endless possibilities when you own an entire market–the responsibility for raising awareness with your customers then rests on your shoulders and yours alone, a daunting task that requires determination and resources.
The concept of being first to market can also become the same double-edged sword for investors. The need to raise awareness for the product or service can frighten off investors who are worried that some bigger company with more resources can jump into the market. This is of course where identifying and protecting the intangibles or intellectual property (IP) can become your competitive advantage.
Validation through competition
It's a simple concept: having competitors is validation of the problem. As we discussed before you need to be solving a real problem. If others are trying to solve the same problem, it means you likely are on to something.
The existence of competitors will likely help with investment which in turn provides you the resources to go to market with your product or service. And sometimes even if that competitor is a big company, that may be just fine because a startup can be extremely nimble to bring products to market quicker and iterate faster to meet customers’ needs.
Bonus tip: Even if you zero direct competitors, you must identify indirect competition because you lose credibility if you say that you are alone without any competition.
Check back next week for part 17 of this series. Subscribe to our blog for these updates straight to your inbox!