If you’re going to start an Uber for X company, you might want to consider these defenses…

Don’t be afraid. Go ahead… go ahead and jump. Jump on the on-demand revolution.

You’ve probably got a strong idea...

Just keep in mind that a company like Uber or Lyft could crush you if they decided to enter your product/service category.

To increase your chances of succeeding, you need defense in a few areas. These areas include (but are not limited to):

  1. Compliance: Be in a highly regulated product/service category. Know the regulatory landscape in and out. Though keep in mind this defense will only stretch so far. Uber’s ethos is taking on highly regulated industries, so they’re not afraid of venturing into areas that typically deter other new entrants. But if you’re already an expert in a certain space (think cannabis on-demand), you’ll at least have a head start and therefore an advantage.
  2. Infrastructure: Be vertically integrated and a market leader. Have long standing relationships with vendors and dominate supply lines. This will be a core competitive advantage and an attractive component for possible acquisition opportunities down the road.
  3. Brand: Uber is now a commodity and trusted as a reliable brand. They focus on enormous market opportunities like food (UberEATs), business travel, on-demand delivery for small business (UberRUSH), and China. Going niche may or may not scale or insulate you from competition, but if you’re viewed as an expert in a specific category, you’ll have more credibility in the customer's mind. For example, Sprig has its own chefs who create organic meals, and it’s able to deliver them very quickly. They have laser-focused their value prop as “Healthy, organic meals delivered in 15 minutes.” UberEATs, on the other hand, sources from hundreds of different restaurants in metro areas, therefore one could argue they don’t control the consistency of quality in the “brand’s” food.

Having a defensible operating model, strong brand identity and in-depth experience in a particular vertical will provide a higher chance of success in the on-demand economy.

Good luck and don’t get discouraged.

(edited by Giancarlo Sciuto)

Curious what Uber for X ideas are trending? Check out Product Hunt’s Uber for X page for insight into who’s doing what.