Two people fencing

Competition is Good

I talk to people who are in the early stages of founding their startup and there’s a few thing that I keep hearing over and over.

“I started this product a few weeks ago and now all these similar products are launching”

or

“I can’t build this product because there are already a lot of products like it”

They sound almost annoyed by this fact, but it’s a fact of life. There will be competition and it’s a good thing.

Competition means you’re onto something how can that not be a good thing?

Competition will help drive innovation, there are examples of this throughout technology.

Gone are the days of easily finding unique ideas, the chances are the idea you have someone has already had before you, they might even already be an established business.

This brings me to another point, if you’re going to compete then your product needs to be 10x better than your competition. This is not an exaggeration, It has to be 10x better than your competition so that their users will bother leaving to become your users. If it isn’t 10x better, no one will care.

It doesn’t have to be 10x better from day one, I actually think the best strategy is to show some laser focus and narrow your product on a smaller vertical within your chosen market.

What do I mean by this? I mean if you’re doing accountancy software and want to compete in that market, don’t just make accountancy software that is 10x better from day one, make for example accountancy software for freelancers, use your laser focus to capture the market of freelancers.

The large accountancy software firm you’re competing with can’t do this.

They can’t show this type of focus, they can’t implement features just for freelancers as their user base is too diverse and not aligned. You should start by building out the specific tools for the accountancy software for freelancers and then once you’ve captured that market expand by taking on more verticals and generalise your product a bit more.

But maybe by that point you’ve realised that actually accountancy software for freelancers is a big enough market for your product and you don’t actually need to continue to grow, I think that’s a perfectly acceptable conclusion, it depends what your goal is with your business, grow to the sky and exit or focus on a long term smaller business that you’re happy to work for. Do what works for you.

I really believe that in this day in age small companies can compete with anyone. Seriously. There are ways to compete with large and small companies alike, just think about it and do what they can’t.


Hey, I’m Grant Leadbetter, Thanks for taking the time to read my post, i’m writing about my journey as a software developer and business owner on a mission to build a sustainable company.