Episode 130 | Capitalizing on Your Unfair Advantage

Show Notes


[00:00] Rob: In this episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, we’re going to be discussing how to capitalize on your unfair advantage. This is Startups for the Rest of Us: Episode 130.

[00:09] Music

[00:16] Rob: Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

[00:26] Mike: And I’m Mike.

[00:26] Rob: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, Mike?

[00:32] Mike: I’ve got nothing done in three weeks. [Laughter]

[00:34] Rob: Is that right? What have you been up to?

[00:35] Mike: It’s all those stuff related to MicroConf. So —

[00:37] Rob: Yeah, I’m in the same boat, man. The last minute stuff getting it done – I mean this is going to air Tuesday which is the day that MicroConf is happening. I’m pretty stoked, man. I’m starting to feel a little anxious because I’m trying to finish up my talk to, you know, talk is going well in general. I ran through it and it’s over an hour. It’s like, oh, I got to cut 20 minutes off of this thing, just taking care some last minute details. I’m very excited to get on a plane on a couple of days and see everybody at the conference.

[01:00] Mike: Yeah, I’m on the same boat with my talk. It’s coming along well. I’m probably about two thirds on the way done right now.

[01:06] Rob: Cool. I have a pretty cool milestone from last week. We finally got Drip installed on customer zero which is HitTail. So, you know, we’re using our own internal app as the first proving ground to make sure everything works, to make sure the pop up works, collects e-mails, sends e-mails. It allows you to edit stuff and split test and all that kind of stuff. So, it was a milestone and we fought through it. Derek pulled a couple of late nights and we’re excited. So, the advantage of being your first customer, you know, of being able to get it on to someone site and we ran in to a couple of issues but since it’s our own internal thing, it was really easy to troubleshoot. We are on track to install it on customer number one like a paying customer and as of Monday morning but of course, we’ll be at MicroConf.

[01:51] So, I won’t be doing that. We’ll probably push it off maybe another week and then I think we’ll be adding new customers. I have 15 early access customers, kind of a short list of people  who I know most of them I know personally who I’m going to start adding as quickly as possible. I think we’ll start off one a week and then I’ll try to do two a week and then three and then once all those people are on and we basically built out all of the things that they need, then I will go to the launch list and that will be a true, you know, public launch so to speak.

[02:20] Mike: Very cool. Yeah, I’ve been looking at what I’m going to doing with AuditShark and just because I’ve been busy the past few weeks. I think that I have a week that I have taken and set aside about two weeks after MicroConf is over and I think I’m going to sit down that week and kind of plan out the actual launch sequence and everything else that goes with it. I was hoping to be able to actually to do the launch that week but I just don’t think it’s going to happen. So, but I’ll at least be able to sit down and plan everything out and make sure that everything is going to go the way that I wanted to.

[02:48] Rob: Very good, so then are you looking at launching in May as well or are you looking at June?

[02:52] Mike: It’ll be the end of May or early June, maybe the first week of June or something like that.

[02:56] Rob: Very nice. Hey, I realized last episode I mentioned MicroConf Europe but basically if you’re in Europe and you’re interested in meeting other self-funded startup founders, software entrepreneurs and you’d like to see high-caliber speakers talking about how they’ve built SaaS, web apps, mobile businesses, that’s what MicroConf is going to be and we’re taking it to Prague and it’s going to be the first week of October. And if you’re interested in that kind of thing, it’s probably going to be fairly small this first year. I would guess it’ll be somewhere between a hundred and a hundred and twenty people and we are currently working on recruiting speakers. But if you’re interested in that, head over to microconfeurope.com and you can enter your e-mail and we’ll be in touch as details firm up. Right now, you and I, you know, are the only confirmed speakers I’ll say but we have a lot of folks Europeans and folks on that side of the world. I think it’s going to shape up nicely over the coming months.

[03:49] Mike: Definitely, that’s going to be a lot of fun. Hey, I got an e-mail from inDinero. Did you get an e-mail from them as well?

[03:54] Rob: I did. I got three e-mails from them. So, at one point, Mike, I had three inDinero accounts  through different – with different businesses and I am very thankful that I have pulled, we pulled all the MicroConf, Micropreneur stuff and one of my other businesses off and I’m now using Outright for those.

[04:13] Mike: Well, they basically e-mailed me to let me know that what’s been happening with their inDinero self-service over the past few months and apparently, they renamed it to self-service which is completely new to me because they didn’t ever tell me that I was on this new self-service plan. But essentially, they said that they’ve been having difficulty building a profitable business model and they’re essentially pulling the plug on all of their lower end plans. So, they’re going to take everything and move it up market and they’re going to offer all inclusive accounting tax and payroll services starting at 399 a month.

[04:45] Rob: And here’s…here’s the issue I have with this. Number one, they gave us 60 to 90, somewhere in there. So, that’s the first thing. Second thing is they’re cutting it off in the middle of the year and I now – I can’t really go back to January and import things from my bank accounts and PayPal. So, I’m going to have to have someone manually take my stuff out of inDinero or out of the source accounts and go put them in another system. And the third thing is they – if they’re going to do this, they should have done it a year ago when they – I mean they’ve been crashing and burning for a year with just mad bugs in their system. They had – they actually had a solid working system. They had the best system that I know of for doing this type of online accounting stuff. It was automated. It had amazing rules that you could create really cool stuff.

[05:31] And then they either rewrote their backend or the frontend or they rewrote everything because the UI totally changed and there were ton of bugs after that and it never really worked right after that. And I was always trying to figure out why they were doing that or what the issue was but they just never seemed to recover and I recommended inDinero at least a half dozen people or maybe more and now they’re – I mean I feel bad for them. I didn’t see this coming and then everyone has been pulling off of inDinero just because it’s been buggy.

[05:58] Mike: I think buggy is an understatement but —

[06:00] Rob: It is.

[06:01] Mike: …in away, I’m kind of thankful as well because I, you know, last year when they pulled this because they basically went and they said, “Well, we have to start charging for this,” which I get. You know, they have to charge at some point, you know, for their free plans in order to make it up but they kind of drew a line in the sand and they said, “Look, we’re not going to allow anybody on this free plan anymore. We’re actually going to pull the free plan and if you want to stay on it, then you’re going to have to start paying for it.” And I’m like that’s fine, I have no problems doing that but the way that they did and I think we might have talked about this a little bit last year but the way that they did it just seemed not well-thought out. It didn’t feel to me like they were taking the needs of their customers in to account or that they even talk to their customers at all to figure out, you know, how they might feel about this sort of change or what the best approach for that might be.

[06:46] So, I actually have two different systems running at the same time right now because I did not trust it and I did not trust them to start making the right decisions and at this point, I could just turn off inDinero and it won’t matter to me because I still have all of my accounting stuff going through another system as well. I’m paying for two which in a way kind of sucks but in retrospect looking at what they’ve done, that was probably a good move on my part in terms of insurance.

[07:09] Rob: Yeah, I remember when you moved that over and that’s about the time I moved, you know, two of those businesses over as well. I think the issue I have here is it’s really hard not to grandfather people in. If you’re going to make the mistake of going with a free plan and thinking that that’s going to work and then going back on that, you got to handle it better than that. And then if you’re going to have an app that’s been running for what, three years? I think I’ve been paying these guys for three years and you’re just going to cut it off and stop access to it and frankly, the e-mail was a little kind of like “Thanks for supporting us since the beginning.” And it’s like what do you mean thanks? Well, there’s no thanks. I mean basically, I, you know, I now opted either spend a couple of days of my time or hire someone which I will probably do.

[07:50] So, it’s going to cost me a few hundred bucks to move off of their system and it’s like, hmm, it should have been handled better than this. What was interesting is I have a $399 a month plan, now we had to handle all the bookkeeping  and paychecks and all that stuff, I need that. I would use that but there’s no chance I’m going to do it now and I feel like if they’d handled this differently given a longer term, they’ve sunset the app of a long time, if they just said, “We need to make more money.” They need to raise their prices in order to make this work like any of that but for the past almost a year, the app has really not worked like it is buggy enough that I would say it’s on the borderline of not functioning. It does pull stuff in but it will often pulling multiple transactions for the same transaction, you know, there’s this all kind of stuff you have to go to manually fixed.

[08:33] In addition, their support turnaround time is between five and ten days when you e-mail them. So and that’s been that way for about a year or more. Now, that you’ve done that, you really shot yourself in the foot because I bet they have thousands of either free or paying customers that they could have pulled from in order to like ramp up in to this, this higher end plan but now who in that group is going to want to actually pay them 400 bucks a month because you just don’t trust that they’re going to – that they’re going to do right by you at this point.

[08:58] Mike: At the end of the day, that’s essentially what it comes down to is trusting whether or not they’re going to do the right thing or going to do what’s in your best interest as a supplier I mean because they’re providing you a service and at this point, they’ve just shown themselves to be completely untrustworthy in terms of making decisions that affects you as a customer and you know, like I said, I’m thankful that I’ve had all my stuff going through a backup system at the same time and that now because of  that I don’t have to go in and do any of that porting that you’re talking about. I’ve essentially prepaid for their problems.

[09:30] Rob: Indeed. I guess this is one of the dangers of using a SaaS app is you’re not, you know, you’re not fully in control. So, if you’re on inDinero, I would recommend Outright. That’s what I’ve been using. They seem to work well. They don’t have a sophisticated, a rule system. There are some things that it doesn’t do that inDinero does. It’s been a pretty easy switch for me in general.

[09:48] Music

[09:51] Rob: So this week, we are talking about Capitalizing on Your Unfair Advantage and specifically, we’re going to define what are unfair advantages and then look at seven different types that relate to software startups. This post is inspired by a number of different sources. I’ve been thinking about this concept of different unfair advantage for a while. Jason Cohen has talked about it. I mean frankly, if you look at unfair advantage in business, there’s books written on it. I have a bunch of notes on my notebook. Everytime I hear about it, I add a new idea.

[10:16] But this particular episode is inspired by a recent post by Pat Flynn and he has a podcast and a blog called Smart Passive Income. He basically says he interviewed someone named Lain Ehmann who is in the scrapbooking niche and he says, “Lain Ehmann described an unfair advantage as a skill or asset that you have that no one else has or very few others might have in a specific niche. It’s your competitive edge, and whatever that edge may be, it’s your job to use it to your advantage as much as possible as you shape and create your business.”

[10:46] And I’m really inspired by this because I’ve realized as I talked to different entrepreneurs who are starting or who are scaling their businesses that people tend to take one of several different tracks to kind of building and scaling a business. So, I’m scaling a business in a certain way. Maybe Noah Kagan is scaling it in a very different way. Maybe someone like Sacha Greif is doing it in a different way because he’s a product person. He’s like a designer and he builds gorgeous products. And so, I was kind of wrestling with that and thinking it through and Pat Flynn really summarized it well in this post. And it’s basically, your unfair advantage is like the core competency that you have that’s going to give you advantage over other people.

[11:22] The first type of unfair advantage is your experience. It’s what you’ve been through. So, if you look at you and I talking on this podcast, the reason we have a podcast and the reason maybe people listen to our podcast instead of the thousands of other business podcasts out there is that we have experience to doing certain things. That’s an unfair advantage essentially, you know. It’s something that we’ve put in a time. We’ve gone through the years of being entrepreneurs. Launching products, failing, having some successes and that gives us more value to offer than another random business podcast if someone just coming on and saying, “Hey, this is my first product and here’s what I’m doing.” Now, they will likely have a different unfair advantage but in this case, this is what we have [0:12:00].

[12:01] Another example of using your experiences and unfair advantages, let’s say you have a really in-depth knowledge of a particular industry. So, like you do with the kind of the auditing industry, taking on AuditShark is utilizing an unfair advantage. For me to build a product like AuditShark I would have a huge learning curve. I would actually be in an unfair disadvantage compared to the knowledge you have.

[12:21] Mike: Yeah and that’s more because, you know, I have worked at a company that did this kind of stuff in the past and I’ve seen a lot of the things that people are explicitly looking for when they’re looking an auditing software. So, that stuff that can be learned but it does take time to do that. It does take time to go through that process and that’s where your background and your experience really comes in to play.

[12:41] Rob: A second of type of unfair advantage is the niche you pick. It’s who you serve and your ability to do so. And we – I mean this is like a time to take a drink, right? We’re talking about how niches are unfair advantage. Think of any of our apps like look at AuditShark. You’re going to focus on a specific niche. At one point it was banks and it another point, I think at this point, it might be software as the service apps. For Drip, it’s the same type of thing. I’m going to be focusing hard core on software as service apps, may move in to E-Commerce site as some point.

[13:11] You look at a lot of products that are bootstrapped especially and starting with a niche and then growing out from that is by far the best way to go because you don’t have the funding or the manpower to go in every direction. Even look at the, you know, how this podcast or MicroConf, the conference had success. If we tried to just be another startup conference, I don’t think we would have been heard above the noise but instead we came out and we said, “We are the conference for self-funded startup founders.” And that’s choosing a niche and you know, that is essentially been an advantage for us over the past couple of years. And now there are other conferences coming up around this – almost the exact same topic as MicroConf and I see that as a good sign actually. It shows that there’s – the competition validates the market and it shows that there are lot of people interested in this niche.

[13:56] Mike: I think the point to make about using a niche as an unfair advantage is that  the ideas that you want to go deep and narrow because you want to essentially identify the people who are going to strongly resonate with whatever the application or service that you’re offering is because there is always going to be this larger players out there who do pretty much everything when the problem is that because they do everything, they don’t necessarily do certain things very well or serve certain types of audiences.

[14:23] And that’s where – but essentially choosing a niche and making sure that you’re going to go deep and narrow in a specific niche to meet the needs of those people and essentially ignore some of the other people because you’re going to have either going to be certain things that you may think are interesting or that, you know, may appeal to a broader audience but you don’t necessarily want all of them. You want to nail that specific niche, get it right and then use that to essentially broaden your footprint as opposed to try to go as horizontal and broadly as possible but not necessarily do as many things that are useful to people.

[14:57] Rob: That’s true, who you exclude in your marketing is almost as important as who you include in it. A third type of unfair advantage is your rolodex. So, it’s the people you know and I’m going to quote Pat Flynn here. He says, “If your rolodex is an unfair advantage if you know and have access to the right people in your industry, people who others do not have access to. You’re a connector, and you can provide value to a specific audience by using the connections you’ve made over time.”

[15:22] And this is absolutely not my unfair advantage. I have never been Mr. Rolodex. I’ve never been good networker or connector but examples of people who are like this and this is exactly what got me on this whole track in the first place is someone like Noah Kagan or Andrew Warner or Jason Cohen. These are people that know so many people and have a broad network that is someone like Noah with no software experience. He isn’t a coder but he starts and grows these online businesses very quickly because of all the connections he can make and you see, he starts AppSumo. AppSumo is not a software company. What it is, is it’s something that only someone who knows a lot of people could put [0:16:00] together really quickly like he did because I remember as Noah was putting it together, it was a lesson in thinking how is he getting this going so fast? How is he cutting all of these deals so quickly?

[16:10] Because you and I, you know, try to get people like special deals for Academy members and deals for MicroConf people and we can do it but it just takes a lot of time because a lot of times you have cold e-mails that you’re dealing with whereas if you already have that big rolodex, you can get an idea like an AppSumo or you could put together a conference or you could, you know, put together those social types things really fast because of the number of people that you know you can get stuff done so much quicker.

[16:36] Mike: And this leads really well in to number four which is people who know you and if you have a large rolodex, then chances are that that relationship is both ways and those people know you. So, when you start putting yourself out there and you start making public the things that you’re doing and the things that you’re working on, people will actually reach out to you as opposed to you having to reach out to them. And you know, in some ways you can look at it as inbound versus outbound marketing but the ideas that if you’re reaching out to people, you’re limited by your own time versus if people are reaching to you, then, you know, you’re essentially filled in a request and those people are essentially already qualified for whatever it is that you’re working on to doing.

[17:13] So, you don’t necessarily have to spend as much time pitching it to people or trying to sell them on the idea because they’re reaching out to you. They already sold on that idea. So, it helps you scale up your efforts very, very quickly. This past week, I got an e-mail from somebody saying, “Hey, you know, I know that you’re working on AuditShark. Just letting you know that there is this request for news article out here that is in this particular space, you know. You might want to respond to it.” So, you know, just by putting yourself out there if there are people out there who are paying attention to it, they’ll reach out to you.

[17:44] Rob: Yeah, having an audience or just a group of people who will listen to you and this is whether you have a podcast or a blog or a large Twitter following, you know, it could be a lot of people who follow you on Facebook. As long as it’s within the niche that you’re dealing in, this is a very powerful tool. This is perhaps the only [0:18:00] reason we were able to pull MicroConf off that very first year and to sell enough tickets to break even on it was because we had built an audience and we had done the podcast probably for a year and a half at that point. And without that, I just I don’t think we could have done it.

[18:15] Jason Cohen says a real unfair advantage is one that cannot be easily copied or bought. And so, if you think about having an audience, it’s not easy to buy an audience and it’s not easy to copy one like to put an 18 months of recording a podcast every week is something that most people will not do. So, capitalizing on an unfair advantage like that on any of this is the way you should go. It’s just going to make launching your business or your app or your product so much easier.

[18:37] The fifth type of unfair advantage is your hustle, how much you put in and where you put it in. This makes me think of this quote that I always have on my head, “It’s those who work the hardest, tend to make it work. They tend to succeed.” And of course you can be a super hard worker and you just put your efforts in the wrong places, yes, that can happen but for the most part, the people I know who are willing to focus for extended periods of time and really hustle and focus on a single goal are able to achieve it much easier than people who are trying to work on three or four things who are scattered, maybe bounce from one app idea to the other or just won’t commit to focusing on a single idea for six months and actually getting it off the ground.

[19:16] Because the problem if you bounce around is you never actually get anything to launch but if you can focus and can push it through, then you can actually, you know, start making enough money to buy out your time and then you just build on that and build on that and that’s where you can really scale up a business.

[19:31] Mike: I think this is where a lot of entrepreneurs just kind of run in to problems because obviously if you put in a lot of work and effort on to a single idea, your chances of doing well with that idea are going to increase dramatically assuming that that idea was a good one and just going to be successful because obviously you could choose to do something and just has no chance of ever making it. You know, a lot of people try to hedge their bets by doing a lot of different things or trying out different things to figure out what’s working and what’s not. And they do that in an effort to [0:20:00] essentially find something that is sort of working that they can double down on and I don’t know if there’s a good answer for how to strike that balance. Obviously, if you put in a lot of effort, you know, your chances of making it over somebody who is in putting in that effort are going to be dramatically higher.

[20:15] Rob: Yeah, and I don’t this is justification for working 60 or 70-hour a week because the people I know who has been successful, yes, they do put in time but it’s more about being effective and it’s more about focusing and if you can just stick with one idea or one thing long enough to get it launched and making enough money that it allows you to then focus on the next thing, then you’re going to be in a much better place and it’s also knowing what to work on, right? It’s eliminating the things that aren’t that important either getting them to a virtual assistant or someone who’s helping you out.

[20:47] It’s outsourcing things like tier 1 support. I mean it’s becoming a super effective person so that as you are working, you’re only working on the things that essentially at your pay grade and that anything else that can be handled that you don’t need to personally handle, that you’re not handling. Once you do that and you continue to work and focus on, you know, on a single thing, it’s just amazing how much you can get done in a matter of even a couple of months.

[21:10] Mike: Yeah, I mean a lot of that is about making sure that you’re doing things that will incrementally make the business better overtime so that you can focus more of your energies on growing that business as opposed to maintaining them.

[21:21] Rob: A sixth type of unfair advantage is your ability to build a great product. And I talked about this a little earlier but these are the people who go out to build whether, you know, whether it’s an info product or whether it’s a software app or whether it’s just an e-book or something. It’s the folks who focus on design and they just build gorgeous UIs and UXs. And so, think of like 37signals, think of Mint.com and how they look in the early days. Think of Sacha Greif, think of the people in the design community who may not focus on things like split testing, Analytics, SEO, metrics, lifetime value, cost per acquisition. They don’t focus on that but they build really good products and they are known for building products so they have…they have the attention of the world in that realm.

[22:06] Because I got to be honest, just being a really good designer and building a really interesting product is not enough. I’ve seen many well-designed products with exceptional UIs fail because they missed all these other stuff. They don’t look at the metrics and they haven’t chosen a target market but putting together a great product with a couple of other things like finding a target market and building it for people, you know, who actually need it in solving their problem, you really can make it work. It may not be as optimized as the people like maybe myself, Patrick McKenzie, like people who look at the analytical side of things, but it almost doesn’t matter because you’re focusing on your unfair advantage and you’re not trying to go outside of your area of core competency.

[22:45] Mike: Another good example is Fog Creek Software with a lot of the things that they do and obviously, they started out with CityDesk and then kind of transitioned over to FobBugz but building that initial product and making it an exceptional product for that particular target market really served them well because then they were able to leverage that to go out and find more customers who were like the existing ones that they have. And by focusing on the product and not exclusively or at the expense of all other things but focusing as much as they could on the product to make it a better product will certainly serve them well because it kind of allows you a little bit of leeway to I won’t necessarily say to completely ignore the metrics, but it allows you to not pay attention to them as much especially if you are at least moderately successful with that product. Once you get to a point where you do start paying attention to those metrics, if you already have a moderately successful product, then you can massively increase revenues and sales by concentrating on those metrics.

[23:41] Rob: Yeah, I think Joel Spolsky is an interesting example to look at actually to see like which of the seven unfair advantages that he have and he definitely had number one which is his experience. He’d already been at Microsoft. He’d been building software for years and so, he had experience to build new apps but also to start blogging about them which was a great marketing approach. Step two is his niche. I mean he basically chose the niche of developers. Unfair advantage number three was probably the people who know you. He built an audience quickly and you know, because he was one of the early bloggers in his space. And then I think the other unfair advantage he have his is, yeah, you’re right, his ability to build a great product.

[24:16] I don’t think it was like amazing UX like 37signals or Mint.com but at the same time especially the early versions of FogBugz, they’ve just had some really well-designed UIs that are easy and intuitive to use. So, you can see that having multiple types of unfair advantages combined can obviously, you know, propel you and not having all three of those means that you instantly have a disadvantage if you’re trying to compete against, you know, something like FogBugz.

[24:42] So, the seventh type of unfair advantage is your ability to listen, build, measure and learn. And I think a shorter way to say this is this is the analytical approach. This is how I see people. It’s the people who look at the numbers. It’s maybe, you know, a Hiten Shah, a Sean Ellis. I like to include myself in this camp of I – I get in to the numbers. I like to see the numbers. I try not to get buried and I’m – which of course, you can but I really like to build, measure and learn. Fight my way through it in that respect. I would say, you know, I build decent products. I build good enough products. I don’t know if I have the unfair advantage of being able to build amazing products and frankly, that’s why I hired someone my product manager Derek happens to have an exceptional eye for UX and UI and that’s one of the good reasons he’s involved because Drip is turning out way better than it would have if I built it myself.

[25:34] So, the idea is to hopefully stack a couple of these unfair advantages if they aren’t uniquely mine but kind of combining them and putting them all in to one bucket so that that when an app like Drip launches that you’re instantly out ahead of other people, you know, as competitors are going to come out of the woodwork for sure combining these and stacking them is definitely an advantage.

[25:55] Mike: I’ll definitely put Patrick McKenzie in this camp as well and it’s not just about analyzing numbers and looking at numbers, it’s about, you know, kind of shifting the way that you think about things and you know, being able to see things from different perspectives especially from your customer’s perspective to figure out what questions you should be asking and what numbers you should be paying attention to because it’s not enough to just pay attention to the numbers, you have to be able to pay attention to the right numbers and understanding which numbers are the right ones and the important things to pay attention to versus ones that are probably going to lead you down a rabbit hole that don’t necessarily mean anything. There’s a big difference between those two different sets of numbers.

[26:32] But yeah, I mean having an analytical approach is definitely, you know, one of those unfair advantages that if you’re able to see things with somebody else’s eye and see them from a different perspective than your own, it’ll definitely help you figure out what’s going to work and put you in a better place than somebody else who’s trying to build the exact same thing.

[26:49] Rob: Yeah and what I like about this list is I don’t believe that any one of this is better than any others and so, if you’ve always felt like oh, I don’t really want to get in to the numbers, the LTV, the cost per acquisition, all that stuff, then have one of these other unfair advantages and you could absolutely build a successful business doing it. I think that’s what I like is it kind of shows that there are all this different facets of each of us and that if you hear someone speaking and they say you absolutely must do it this way, I mean you hear that all the time, right? You must build a great product. If you don’t have a great product, it’s not going to work.

[27:20] I disagree like that is a for unfair advantage and that maybe how you personally, the speaker on the stage did it this time. But there are many other ways to do it. We’ve listed seven here, there have to be more as well. So, you know, feel free to chime in with your own in the comments or you can call us at our voicemail number or drop us an e-mail.

[27:40] Music

[27:43] Rob: The first is your experience, what you’ve been through. The second is your niche, who you serve and your ability to do so. The third is your rolodex, the people you know. The fourth is the people who know you, in other words, your audience. The fifth is your hustle, how much you put in and where. The sixth is your ability to build a great product  and the seventh is your ability to listen, build, measure and learn.

[28:04] Mike: If you have a question for us, you can call it in to our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690. Or you can e-mail it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Outta Control” by MoOt used under Creative Commons. You can subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for startups or via RSS at startupsfortherestofus.com where you’ll also find a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.


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4 Responses to “Episode 130 | Capitalizing on Your Unfair Advantage”

  1. Listened to it on my way home from MicroConf. Thanks for hosting such an incredible conference.
    I will try all I can to attend Europe and next year.

  2. Interesting topic guys. 🙂

    I would add a few more to your list:

    – Assets (e.g. massive savings account, website with good SEO, etc.)
    – Personal qualities (e.g. public speaking, strong writer, ability to sale, etc.)
    – Business model (e.g. recurring, exclusive rights, low overhead, etc.)

    Another interesting topic would be how to form strategies that emphasize advantages and mitigate weaknesses.


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