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After covering numerous companies at Trends, I've noticed: people think of competition too narrowly. This is indicative of not understanding the root problem being solved. Competition != products w the same features Competition = anything overlapping w core value provided 🧵
Ex 1: Quibi died quickly. Some blame it on COVID. Others on frivolous spending. But their oversight was thinking that they were competing with Netflix or Disney Plus. Their competition was Twitter, TikTok, or your #1 podcast. Free, on-demand entertainment.
Ex 2: Neflix has fared much better. Why? They understand the complexity of their competition graph. Reed Hastings has astutely noted that it's not just Disney+ or HBO. They also compete with... sleep. Their goal is to get more of your overall entertainment timeshare.
Ex 3: If you're United Airlines, you think your competition is American. Delta. KLM. That's your direct competition. But you're indirectly competing w anything helping ppl mentally/physically "escape". This ranges from RVs to cruises, but also VR, esports.. You get the point.
Ex 4: Universities think they're being disrupted by Lambda School. They are. But they're also disrupted by anything giving young ppl job prospects, like: - Self-learning plats (YT) - Influencer apps (TikTok) - Biz builders (Shopify) - Incubators (YC) - P2P marketplaces (Upwork)
TL;DR If you're building a company, consider the CORE problem you're solving. Not "my company sells X to Y". What are you really helping people do? - Reach financial security? - Entertain themselves? - Save time? Break it down and only then, assess what else achieves that.
PS: This is why, if your product's core offering is organizing information, I can almost guarantee that your top competitor is a spreadsheet.

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Steph Smith

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