12 Jul AiroAV Antivirus Announces: Startups Don’t Need to Be Revolutionary. They Need to Be Di…
When new, typically young entrepreneurs start thinking about how they’re going to launch a startup, their mind instantly begins sorting through potential a few ideas. And nearly all of those entrepreneurs end up discouraged. Why? Because they can’t come up with some revolutionary, game-changing, never-before-considered idea to serve as the foundation for their business.
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Obviously, if you have a “real” game changer, growing your business wouldn’t be hard. If you invent a tool that immediately turns rotten food edible again, you’d not only sky-rocket to popularity, but you’d have an excellent chance of solving world hunger. But discovering these a few ideas is incredibly difficult, and executing them in a profitable way is even harder.
This is problematic since it dissuades some entrepreneurs from ever starting their own business, and convinces others to go down an improbably challenging path. There’s an aphorism commonly attributed to Voltaire, that “perfect is the enemy of good.” In other words, entrepreneurs spend so much time chasing these once-in-a-lifetime, picture-perfect a few ideas, they never end up focusing on solid a few ideas that could genuinely make the economy better—and earn them a profit in the meantime.
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I contend that good startups don’t need to be revolutionary, or invent new industries from scratch (even though those forms of ideas are helpful if they emerge). Instead, they simply need to be different.
Why “Different” Is Usually Enough
What do After all by different? There are several ways your startup idea can differentiate it self from the others, and some of these methods of differentiation will naturally be superior to the others, depending on your present circumstances.
However, these approaches may potentially differentiate your company enough to give it a fighting chance of success:
- Accessibility. You could start my making some product or service more accessible. For example, laptops are just computers in a portable form; they work mostly exactly the same, but may be folded up and carried anywhere, with no need to be plugged in constantly. Mobile pet grooming stations allow homeowners to purchase and use those services, even when they don’t feel like driving to the groomer’s location.
- Pricing. Another obvious twist to pull is cutting your prices (or in some cases, raising them in trade for greater quality). At the end of the day, most consumers still want the very best deal, when you can offer the same product or service as a competitor for less overall, you’ll immediately have an advantage. The trick is getting a novel method of production which allows you to do this while still operating profitably.
- Service. Sometimes, it is possible to differentiate your self based on the extent and quality of service you offer. For example, if your customer service team is truly much better than any other company on the market, you’ll eventually create a reputation for it—and appeal to people frustrated making use of their customer service experiences in other areas.
- Overall quality/usability. Google didn’t invent the internet search engine. Online search-engines were around for years before Google got involved. But Google could be the top name, and has been for significantly more than 20 years, because it greatly improved the usability and quality of the online internet search engine. Find a means to genuinely improve upon an idea that already exists.
- Audience. No matter what, your changes are going to introduce you to a slightly different audience segment. But you may also build a business around targeting a completely different demographic from the outset; for example, if this is a business that an average of targets middle-aged men, consider designing a variant for teenagers, or for middle-aged women.
- Location. One of the easiest ways to differentiate your startup is by launching it in an alternative location, or serving an alternative location. This is usually limited to organizations with location dependencies, like physical retail storefronts, or how ridesharing services an average of operate only in major metropolitan areas.
Adding one or more tweaks to a preexisting business model to make it stand apart will allow you to in several ways:
- Competition. First, you’ll limit how many competitors you’ll face, while still taking advantage of an existing audience. If you had been introducing a completely new concept, with no preexisting foundation, no body would be earnestly looking for a business like yours. If you instead work within a new niche within an industry that already exists, you’ll filter most of your existing competitors while still working with a dynamic audience. This is the concept behind strategies like long-tail keyword optimization in search engine optimization (SEO); you’ll target longer, less competitive phrases related to a core industry, thereby avoiding the long-dominant competitors who does keep you from attaining the top position in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Recognition/awareness. Offering some type of novel appeal instantly enables you to relevant with a different audience. Whether you’re offering larger scale services, smaller scale services, a far more convenient location, or services and products tailored to a different demographic, you’re going to be much more recognizable (and seen as more authoritative) to someone. If you capitalize on this, you’ll be able to generate far more momentum for the brand than you would in just about any other scenario.
- Memorability. Studies suggest that a blend of novelty and familiarity lead to higher memorability. For example, you’ll likely forget your drive home from work today if it’s completely uneventful; you’ve experienced it a thousand times, so it doesn’t stand out. But if you have a vivid dream with a lot of obscure and formless details, you probably won’t remember those either. Instead, in the event that…