Episode 217 | Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Competitors

Show Notes


[00:00] Mike: In this episode of Startups For the Rest of Us, Rob and I are going to be talking about why you shouldn’t worry about competitors. This is Startups For the Rest of Us episode 217.

[00:07] Music

[00:14] Mike: Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us. The podcast helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products. Whether you built your first product or just thinking about it. I’m Mike.

[00:22] Rob: And I’m Rob.

[00:24] Mike: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, Rob?

[00:27] Rob: Well, I just wrapped up an AMA, ask me anything, on Bootstrappers.io. We’ll link it up in the show notes. But it was a lot more work than I thought it’d be but it was also pretty fun. I got questions from folks like Andrew Warner, Brian Castle. There was a lot of good stuff that came out of it and actually there were so many questions and I answered all of them, but there were a lot of the answers that I really want to flesh out, either into full-length blog posts or a full podcast episode because there’s just so much to say about certain topics.

[00:56] Mike: Very cool. So, what brought that on?

[00:58] Rob: I was emailed by the guy that writes Bootstrappers.io. He asked if I wanted to do it and I said as long as in the Bio you could include a mention of Drip. I’d never done one so I didn’t know how much work it would be or what the real impact of it would be. Turns out it was pretty cool. It was neat to see how many names of people that I recognized. Emailed us, asked questions through the podcast, that I met at MicroConf, run other podcasts. It was fun to just be involved and be doing something in public. I think I had actually mentioned in Founder Cafe, kind of my status update, I need to start doing more things in public again. Because aside from the podcast, I haven’t published a book in a long time. I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as I used to. I’ve really been heads-down, focusing on growing Drip.

[01:42] And while that’s what needs to be done right now to grow it, I want to do more things like this and just get back to the way it was. I mean, three or four years ago, I was publishing stuff every which way online all the time. I was just all over the place and I’ve since been focusing more on businesses. But I do really enjoy doing things out in public and it makes me happy to do that. I’m happier when I do it. So, I think part of 2015, that’s something I want to get back to.

[02:09] Mike: I don’t want to call it getting back to your roots, but getting back to the things that you started out doing and kind of the reasons why you started bootstrapping and kind of sharing this stories and experiences and stuff online. It’s just because it’s fun and it’s helpful for other people but most of all you just enjoy doing that.

[02:25] Rob: That’s right. Yeah, since it’s the week of Christmas, I have basically backed off on almost all of my advertising, even some of my re-targeting and there’s not a lot of action going on right now in the B to B space. So, I actually stopped publishing new blog posts on the Drip blog this week as well. I’m stockpiling some pretty good content, some ad ideas and even some videos that I’m going to be pushing live in early January. About email marketing and how to do it and all that stuff. So, just trying to get that all in line because aside from just having the content, there’s always the technical issues of how you’re going to upload it, how you’re going to present it, how you’re going to market it. And I’m trying to iron all that out and get things going, so. At this point it just feels like easing into the end of the year. Kind of how it goes every year. And then second week of January, really ramping things up.

[03:12] Mike: So, the only other thing I’ve kind of been paying attention to lately is the fact that we still don’t have a signed contract from MicroConf yet because everybody’s on vacation so we basically still have the dates as tentative, which kind of sucks.

[03:23] Rob: We’ve had the toughest time this year just getting a venue nailed down and getting a contract signed. It’s been crazy. I think this has been the worst year we’ve had.

[03:29] Mike: Yeah. I think even the first year was quicker. What was it, like the first year we went from zero to conference in what ten or twelve weeks or something like that?

[03:36] Rob: Yeah.

[03:37] Mike: Well, today’s episode is kind of inspired by Robin Warren and he wrote into us and he said, “Hi, guys. I’m responding to the request for episode ideas from the newly branded Founder’s Cafe. Every time I see some information on a competitor or even something that looks like a competitor to the app I’m developing it’s like being punched in the stomach. I know logically it’s a good thing and that it helps validate the market and now I need to work out how to compete with them. Maybe in time I’ll internalize that and my intuitive response won’t be to get deflated. To help with that it’d be cool to have an episode on competition and what to do when you discover competition or see them getting more press, or influence, or attention. Hopefully some sense talking from you guys can help bring the intuitive side of my brain into a bit closer to dealing with these events without wanting to give up.” I brought this up partly because it’s also a section I’m putting into my book which made doing the outline for this really easy this week.

[04:24] Rob: Yeah, and speaking of your book. If folks want to hear more about that they can head to Singlefounderhandbook.com.

[04:31] Mike: One of the things that have kind of come back to me and some of the customer development that I’ve been doing for the book is that people have been saying that they’re having a hard time dealing with competitors. And part of it was some of the things that Robin talked about. But a lot of the stuff has to do with things like bootstrappers tend to want to build stuff that nobody’s ever built before. Or they don’t want to be seen as if they’re copying from others, or, and I think that a lot of people have this issue, is that they don’t want to put their stuff out there because they’re afraid of other people copying their ideas. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about competition and why you shouldn’t necessarily worry too much about other people competing with you and you also shouldn’t worry too much about having to compete with other people. And I think that kind of laying some of these things out will help put people’s minds at ease.

[05:14] Rob: Yeah, I think there’s kind of a spectrum here, right? If you’re trying to build something on the side that’s really small and the market is tiny and maybe you only want to get a thousand or two thousand bucks a month and you’re kind of doing that first step of the stairstep process, then having a competitor that is way ahead of you and is executing well, it can be a real issue. So, I don’t think that competition is always a good thing especially in a smaller market like that. But assuming that’s not your initial goal or that’s not the goal that you’re trying to attack right now, then let’s talk about why bootstrappers seen to have a hard time with competitors.

[05:50] Mike: So, I think the first one is that they want to do things that nobody has ever done before. I think the downside to this is when you are trying to do something that nobody’s ever done before, you haven’t really proven out the business idea, yet. There’s no justification there that says, “Hey, there’s people who are willing to pay for this.” And I think that’s one of the downsides of trying to go into a market where there aren’t any competitors, and as I said, there’s this propensity for developers to say, “I want to green field project,” when in some cases that can actually be harder because there’s no justification there that anybody’s willing to pay for it, so you have to do that work yourself.

[06:24] Rob: Yeah, and I think there’s two sides of this. An example of doing something that no one has ever done before could be something like, coming up with some new B to C social network idea or it could be trying to build really, really good low priced software for accounting for the timber industry, right? If no one has ever done that before. And those, if there really is no other competition, it could be a real sign that either, A, the idea’s too risky, or that the market is not large enough. Now, examples of doing something no one has ever done before, that I think are better ideas or that actually have some viability, is if you said, “Okay, no one has ever done e-signatures on WordPress, so I’m going to combine those two.” Or, “no one has ever done an Eventbrite crossover with WordPress, so I’m going to build a WordPress plugin that essentially allows me to emulate Eventbrite.”

[07:13] There you’re just combining stuff, taking an idea that’s already worked and you’re moving it into a new eco-system. Into WordPress, a place where you know you can get leads and that there are channels of folks coming and looking for it. So, I think that’s a good differentiator. We’re not saying that you should never do stuff that no one has done before, but if someone has done something before and it hasn’t been delivered to a particular eco-system or you can put a spin on it but still keep it kind of B to B and true to it’s original form to where you can tap into a nice marketing channel, then it can actually be something that can work for you.

[07:45] Mike: You know, it can be more work because you have to justify the application’s existence or you may need to educate on why it is that they need it. And it’s not to say that’s impossible, it’s just that it can be a little bit more difficult. Whereas, if there are competitors there, it helps to kind of provide you that assurance that people are willing to pay for it.

[08:04] Rob: Yeah, I agree. And if you push into a brand new space and you can’t just come in and say, “All right, we make email marketing software and here’s how we’re different from the two or three incumbents that you know about.” If you can do that, you’re actually in a pretty good position. But if you come out and instead of being able to use a short phrase like email marketing software, or marketing automation software, or accounting software instead of being able to do one of those things and you have to say, “Well, we build software that helps you do this and that,” and every time someone asks you you find that you have to explain what it does rather than being able to just name a two or three word description that everybody knows, that’s where you’re really running uphill.

[08:42] Because people want to be able to link your product to something that they already know about and they want to be able to position it with something they already know about. And if they can’t do that then it is a real uphill battle, especially for a bootstrapper because it’s very expensive to educate people and to try to get them to understand what you’re building and why they should need it if they don’t already have that knowledge.

[09:03] Mike: So, the second problem is that developers don’t want to be seen as if they’re copying others. And this kind of goes back to the first one where people want to have green field ideas but they don’t want to be seen as if they’re completely ripping off and idea that somebody else had. And I don’t know whether that has to do with self-esteem because they want to say, “Oh, look how smart I am. I came up with this brand new idea that nobody else had ever done before,” and I’ll use time tracking software as an example. There’s only so many ways that you can track your time online using applications. But if you look around on the market, there’s like thirty different time tracking applications and that’s probably an understatement. They’re just everywhere. But in some way, shape, or form, they are all a clone of one another. So, the reality is that it doesn’t necessarily matter whether or not you’re doing that. It’s like are you doing it well and are you serving a market?

[09:50] But I think that’s a psychological barrier that people have is that they don’t want to be seen as if they’re cloning some other application out there. Which in my mind is actually very funny because if you look at something like Linux. It’s very widely used. It’s a clone of Unix. If you look at Apple’s OS X, it had it’s roots back in PSD. It’s not the same thing, obviously but that’s where it’s roots are. And those things naturally evolve over time. They’re not going to stay the same throughout their lifespan, so even if you’re using somebody else’s product or application or design as kind of a starting point, it’s not going to stay there. But I do think that this is one of the things that people have a hard time justifying to themselves and to others.

[10:29] Rob: Yeah. And, I think the bottom line is, especially at the scale that we’re all operating at, which is very, very small compared to the rest of the world, people just don’t really care unless you rip off marketing verbiage, or homepage headlines, or a feature by feature, or you really are stealing tactics, that’s when people start to care. But even then it’s typically only the competitor. If you’re stealing someone’s headline, they care, but no one else notices. Don’t rip off other people’s marketing, don’t rip off their feature by feature, but be less concerned in general about being seen as copying others, because frankly it doesn’t really matter that much. It’s so much about how well you’re going to execute and how you can out-market other people than it is about building a product that might be similar or close in positioning to another one.

[11:15] Mike: So, I think the third reason bootstrappers have a hard time with competitors is that they don’t want other people to steal their ideas from them. So, similar to them not wanting to take other people’s ideas, they don’t want other people taking their own ideas. And this is really just the reverse of what we just talked about. But the reality is as soon as you take your product and create a webpage for it and people can go sign up for it or download it, that can easily happen and people can go out there and take it to their heart’s content and do what they want with it. They can copy to UI. I mean there’s loads of GPL software out there that is almost a one hundred percent ripoff of various applications. As I said, it’s kind of humorous that you look at those things and that’s deemed okay, but as soon as an entrepreneur goes out and tries to make money off of something like that then it’s a big no-no. The reality is that once your product is out there, you are inevitably going to have other people copying from you and that’s not necessarily a bad thing because just because they’re copying your design doesn’t mean they’re copying all the underlining things that make your product special. And that’s really what you should be concentrating on is making your product special.

[12:15] Rob: Yeah, we’ve talked about this a lot in the past on this show, just about how you shouldn’t be afraid of talking about your ideas to people. Now, something I would not do is go publish on the open internet my entire marketing plan or something that I consider to be a real unique competitive advantage that I have. But to tell someone that I’m going to be building an email marketing app or I’m going to be building a time tracking app and even to give out some ideas of it, what’s it’s going to be or how it’s going to be different, there’s just so few people who can even execute on that well enough to be a competitor and those people tend to have their own good ideas or they have their own good things going on. They’re not going to sit around. The people that are going to sit around and take your idea and try to duplicate it tend to be the ones who want some sort of shortcut and aren’t going to follow through and don’t know UX well enough and who don’t know how to market well enough, they just aren’t really going to be that much of a competitor to you.

[13:07] Mike: So, I wanted to dig in a little bit and talk specifically about seven different reasons that having competitors doesn’t matter. And the first one is that established competitors help to justify the market. And as I said before, when you start looking at a market and you start building a product, when you find established competition and they are making ends meat by actually having a business that they’re making money from, then what that is is that’s a signal that you can use to say, “Hey, there are customers that this particular product is serving that are willing to pay for this particular product.” Now, that doesn’t necessarily translate to you being able to reach them or you being able to fully serve all the needs that they have, and it’s one of many that you have to take into account and it’s helpful to know upfront that people are willing to pay for that kind of solution as more of a data point than anything else.

[13:54] Rob: Yeah, the interesting thing is, especially if you have extremely large competitors who are doing tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, they are almost always leaving behind some group of people. They’re not serving them very well. Because that’s how you grow large is by covering this horizontal space, and so if you take a mega time tracking app or a huge accounting system or an enormous email marketing system, I think we all have ideas of what each of those are, you’re always going to find people on forums, or Twitter, or just in your circle who are saying, “You know, they are not serving,” insert demographics here, “they are not serving startups very well.”

[14:33] You can use them for those purposes but there are all these verticals that you can dig into that you can serve better as a small micropreneur, solo entrepreneur, on getting started, and you’re right, the established competitor helps justify that market on a large scale. What will happen is, you can find a little niche under there that could be a couple grand a month or maybe it’s five or ten grand a month and you can sneak in under their radar and they won’t even notice it but it’s still a nice little business for you.

[14:59] Mike: So, number one deals more with established competitors but number two is specifically aimed at when you’re building a product and it’s kind of a new product and you find somebody else who’s also building the same product. It helps but it doesn’t absolutely justify that there is a market. So, if you’re building a time tracker that hooks into a very specific piece of software, maybe it hooks into OS X and it allows you to trigger it from a Macro, or something like that, if you look out there and you find somebody else doing that exact same thing but they are not far enough along that they’ve actually launched, I put this in the same bucket where as a data point but it doesn’t necessarily define the entire market.

[15:37] It doesn’t say that you’re going to be able to meet their needs and everything else. I think this is a little bit different than what you also just explained where you’ve got a large competitor where they’re leaving behind a big piece of the market where there would be space for somebody smaller to come in and take ten to fifteen thousand dollars a month. It’s a little bit different than that.

[15:54] Rob: Yeah. When I look at competition as a really small startup or solo entrepreneur I’m not scared of the large competition because as I said you can sneak in under their radar and take a much smaller piece of the market that’s still substantial for someone of our size. I am more concerned about new competitors, always, because they’re the ones that are agile. They’re the ones that are out there and hungry and doing it on the side like you are and they’re the ones that are going to be talking to probably overlapping customers or prospects that you are and you guys are going to be competing for business more than you and that giant behemoth email marketing company or whatever, time tracking, whatever it is you’re building.

[16:32] So, they definitely cause me more concern but I agree with you that, you know, it used to be that when I would see new competition enter a market, you always give them the benefit of the doubt. If they raised funding, you think, “Wow, they’re legitimate.” If they haven’t raised funding, you think, “Wow, they’re scrappy.” Almost always that’s an incorrect assumption. And that people out there launching things are just bound to fail. More often than not, the colleagues that I know who are in these markets and new competitors come in, we’ll look at them together and we’ll talk through them and almost every time that competitor winds up fizzling out within three to six months because they don’t know the UX, they don’t know how to market well enough, they don’t learn what their customers really need, and they often rely on a single feature. It’s funny, you said time tracking that integrates with Macros or whatever, that’s a great single feature to start off with and that’s a great headline to kind of get out there.

[17:21] Almost guarantee you that feature will be implemented by either larger competitors or other small competitors quickly and so you then have to figure out what’s next. If you don’t continue to evolve then you are going to lost market share and you’re going to lose it. And that’s what I see a lot of these fly by night competitors coming up doing. So, new competition as you said, it helps justify the market, it doesn’t absolutely guarantee there’s a market and while I have more concern about them than larger competitors, overall I found that they don’t tend to stick around in general.

[17:48] Mike: So, the third reason that having competitors doesn’t matter is that once having your product launched anyone can sign up for it an copy everything you have done anyway. Working in secret, we’ve talked about this before, in general is really just not helpful because the software isn’t what gets you customers, it’s the marketing engine behind it and it’s a lot more difficult to copy that than it is the product which is more or less public. There are ways to spy on your competition and see what ad words they’re going after or what keywords they’re targeting on their website for SEO and everything else, but the reality is their marketing engine or their marketing plan is probably a lot deeper than you have visibility to and the same thing with yours. Your marketing plan is not public knowledge for everybody to see. So, just because they can copy your product doesn’t mean that they can copy all of the associated things that go with it that are helping you to get in front of customers and help turn them into paying customers.

[18:40] Rob: Yeah. Some other things that are essentially competitive advantages that you build up as a snowball over time and are kind of moats that are hard to cross are things like a lot of link authority and so therefore, a good SEO juice and a high proportion or a high number of organic visitors every month coming to landing pages where you’re capturing email addresses. If you build up that engine, which has nothing to do with the product and can go unseen if people are not actually looking at what you’re doing, that is a flywheel in a half right there. And so, if you have a competitor who comes in late, even if they can take your whole product, they can’t catch up to that kind of thing.

[19:17] Another thing is knowledge of paid acquisition because you can honestly burn through thousands of dollars on a bunch of channels figuring out one channel that works and the demographics and the keywords that work for that. When you have that knowledge and your competitor doesn’t, that’s an advantage. Another one is your network. You can do joint ventures, you can get people to come and vouch for you, you can get people to do courses with you and webinars and all kinds of stuff. So, if you get out ahead of someone and you can use your network that’s another thing that’s really hard to compete with. But the product itself, in general, is relatively easy to replicate. There’s obviously are exceptions.

[19:55] Actually another thing is knowledge of your customers, and that’s one thing that I don’t want to leave out here, is that a lot of people launch products and then are selling to customers and they don’t understand who they are or why they’re buying and all that stuff. Once you have an in-depth knowledge of who your customers are and how to reach them and why they’re buying, which is all encompassed in that single term, marketing, you have a competitive advantage that a newbie coming on board, even with a half million dollars in funding, trying to launch a direct competitor to you, they will likely lose because you’re just so far ahead of them in terms of that knowledge.

[20:29] Mike: The fourth reason for why having competitors doesn’t matter is that in many cases it’s hard to imagine a scenario where there’s just one winner and everybody else loses. And if you look at major players out there. You’ve got Apple and Microsoft, you’ve got Oracle and SQL Server and kind of our space, you have much smaller companies but there are still several of them out there. You have companies like LaunchRock and Kickofflabs and Unbounce that are all kind of competing in basically the same space. And then another set. You’ve got FirstOfficer.io and HookFeed and Baremetrics and they’re all competing in the same space. And they’re all have viable products and they’re all making ends meet. So, the point is that it’s not a zero sum game where for you to win everyone else has to lose.

[21:07] There’s almost always room for more players. And I say almost with that little caveat, there are definitely places where there are not enough room, the much smaller areas where it’s really just not worth the time or effort to have multiple competitors in that space. If you’re looking to build any sort of serious business you have to examine the possibility of what happens if a competitor comes in here? And is there enough room for multiple people to play. That should be part of your consideration process.

[21:32] Rob: Yeah, that’s the important part again, right? If the market is tiny. If it’s a two-thousand dollar market then there probably aren’t room for competitors. But in any of the spaces that we’re talking about today, there tends to be room for another small competitor. And what typically happens is apps come out that is very similar to a competitor but they have one twist, they have one feature differentiation. Or maybe it’s a pricing structure, a business model differentiation. And customers who aren’t happy with that first incumbent, come and take a look at yours, and you’re going to find that some like your product and others don’t, but you’re going to find out why they like it and then you’re going to move more in that direction. The product is not stagnant and neither will your customer base be.

[22:11] You’re going to build more features for that group and you may find that you start a competitor, you know, a new landing page competitor to compete with LaunchRock, Kickofflabs, Unbounce, LeadPages and you try to differentiate in one way and all of a sudden it’s like e-commerce, providers are really using this and they like that one feature and so then you just go and you focus and you niche down on e-commerce. We’ve seen Nathan Barry do this on ConvertKit. He launched ConvertKit and the landing pages and kind of email marketing built in and he’s niched down because he’s found out that he had a lot of authors who were interested and so now if you go to his homepage the headline is email marketing for authors. And so he’s niched down. That wasn’t the original goal. Same thing happened with Drip.

[22:47] I launched it with the certain unique selling proposition and that has changed over time and I’ve entered the marketing automation space purely from customer requests. So, this stuff tends to shake itself out over time. If you get in there and you get some customers and you follow the lead and try to figure out what’s the most valuable thing for the largest group of customers that you have and you can move in that direction then you’re right there’s room for more players because you’re going to spread out anyway. You’re not all going to stay clustered in the middle of the market.

[23:14] Mike: And part of what you said in the beginning kind of leads on to number five which is that customers sometimes change products. There are times where you’re going to be able to accommodate the changes that they’re asking for but there’s times when those customers are not going to be willing to wait and those customers very well may look at the competition and decide that they’re going to switch. Just because somebody signs up for your competitor doesn’t mean that they’re not going to have a bad experience or some problem that that competitor can’t solve. That can be an opportunity for you to succeed in the long run.

[23:41] Just because somebody signs up for your product doesn’t mean that they’re not going to switch in the future. And this goes back to having enough room in that market for more than one player. The sixth reason is that different competitors can serve different market segments better. And this is generally according to their marketing. It tends to have very little to do with the product itself. It has to do with how they’re positioned in the market. So, for example, if you think about something like Constant Contact or MailChimp, you start thinking about the types of customers that are going to use those. And I think for MailChimp you kind of gravitate much more to thinking of them for bootstrap startups and much smaller companies. The reality is that they can scale up very very high and they can handle massive email lists. The same thing with Constant Contact. But Constant Contact has a, I’ll say a reputation, for working with brick and mortar businesses than anything else.

[24:29] It’s not to say that that’s true of exactly what they do but that’s a reputation that they’ve kind of established in a lot of the direct response marketing that they’ve done and working with people at a local level to handle all these different events that they’re doing where they’ll send somebody in and they’ll do an in person presentation. Invite a bunch of people in and show them how it works and what they can get out of it. It’s much more about how they’re addressing the market and how they’re presenting themselves to the market in terms of what they’re capable of delivering. And it’s about the perception of the customers. So, if you can position yourself differently then you also have an opportunity to compete against them by positioning yourself one way versus how the other company positions themselves.

[25:13] Rob: Yeah, and the way I think I want to enter this is if you are a single founder and you don’t have a lot of budget and you’re doing this on the side, I’ve always said, you want to enter a vertical first to try to serve that vertical as best you can. And then later, if you get enough momentum, spread out into the horizontal. If you ever get there. I mean if the vertical’s big enough you can stay there. I think if you have more horsepower, you have a little bit of funding or you have a couple developers who you’re working with, you have a larger team, then you can consider going into a space and being a little more horizontal, getting a lot of people using it, and then figuring out which is the most valuable. And then almost, kind of like I said, going the reverse direction of catering maybe just to authors like Nathan Barry’s doing or switching, specializing, going from just this broad email marketing into marketing automation which, I guess, not directly vertical, it is a subset of email marketing. So, you can attack it from two directions depending on the resources you have when you start.

[26:10] Mike: And the last reason that having competitors doesn’t necessarily matter is that your customers are the ones that should be driving your product road map, not your competitors. The fact of the matter is, your customers are going to be different than your competitors which means that you’re talking to them and your competitor is not. So, naturally what’s going to happen is that naturally over time your road map is going to naturally diverge from their road map because your listening to your customers. Presumably, they’re listening to their customers and if they’re following you it’s going to be very difficult for them to attract those types of people because if they’re not talking to their own customers and they’re just copying what your website says that your product does, it’s going to be an uphill road for them and they’re probably not going to last very long. But if they’re talking to their own customers and listening to what their customers have to say to them then chances are you guys are going to go in different directions. And if you do end up going in the same directions, then at least you were listening to your customers and those are the people who are driving your revenue anyway.

[27:02] Rob: Yeah, it’s pretty rare that I see two companies whose road maps are just lockstep for months or years at a time because when you are listening to customer feature requests and prospect, you know, lead feature request who are very serious about signing up and you’ve kind of validated that and they’re basically saying, “Yeah, can you do this one more thing and then I’ll sign up?” As you qualify them at that point, you’re just going to get different requests. You’re going to get feature requests. You’re going to decide to go in a slightly different direction than your competitors and I think that’s a good thing because it helps differentiate multiple products that are in the same space and while you are still competitors it will kind of broaden your differences over time.

[27:40] The only time I’ve seen competitors that are almost lockstep in terms of features, is when one competitor is basically watching the other competitor and whenever the second competitor releases something, the first one then goes and builds it. And that’s what I was talking earlier about the people who are doing it wrong in the long term are doing that. Because if none of your customers are asking for this and you’re basically just trying to be a clone of another service that’s successful, that’s not the way to find long term success, right? Over time, you’re eventually going to lose because that’s boring, you have no differentiation and you have kind of no unique selling proposition, you’re trying to duplicate someone else’s selling proposition, and again, just long term, that’s not the best play.

[28:22] So, we outlined this whole episode based on a single question from Robin Warren. Thanks for the question Robin. And if you have your own question for us and would like to see us answer it on air or turn it into an entire episode, you can call out voicemail number at 888-801-9690 or email us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from We’re Outta Control by MoOt and it’s used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for startups and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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2 Responses to “Episode 217 | Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Competitors”

  1. Aaron Dowd says:

    Hey guys, first time listener. I just waned to mention that the edit points are very noticeable. Let your editor know that a crossfade at the cut points would help with that.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Diego Lavia says:

    Great Episode! 1-year old listener here. This episode worked as a confident boost for me.

    The most valuable asset for a business is the knowledge of the market/customers.