There’s Always Room for Great Competitors
When you’re getting started in startups it’s easy to think that competition is a very bad thing.
Say you’re in a ten billion dollar a year market. If you’re the only tech provider in that space, you have a chance of capturing the whole thing.
It’s still not guaranteed. You could royally fuck it up. But you have a good shot.
Now say you’re one of twenty companies in the space. If all the players are equally good/bad—which is hugely unlikely—you’re looking at a $500k share.
That’s not quite as impressive, right?
So I can see why the lack of competition is an attractive prospect. But there’s a few things wrong with this thinking.
Not all products have markets
First up, lack of competition could mean many other things, the most evil of which is that there’s no market there. If there’s no market, there’s no money to be made for anyone.
This is especially likely to happen to you if you’re comparing your new niche to some other huge market, and expecting it to be a similar size.
Your competitors push you to be better
When you’re alone in a market it’s easy to innovate. At first, anyway. After a while things start to go stale, and since you have no competitors, there’s no real urgency to improve your product.
Your customers probably still won’t churn because they have nowhere else to go, but that doesn’t mean they want to stay.
Having competitors forces you to be competitive. It forces you to make your product better, give more awesome service, and build an amazing team.
Not all markets are made equal
There’s some big ass markets out there. The US spends $220B a year on advertising. Procter & Gamble alone contribute $3B of that.
Landing that one client could make you a more than respectable business. Land a couple and you’re on track to becoming a big fish.