When to Worry About Competition

Sep 2013

I don't believe that you should ever be too fussed about existing competition within the market that you want to enter. This notion is mostly to prevent competition of becoming an excuse not to ship something and not to even try capture some of the market share.

There are however a few instances where I would worry about competition and where I would (re-)consider attacking a specific market:

  • If you can't build an MVP or if it'll cost you loads of cash to build a product that'll allow you to capture enough of the market share to get that initial traction.
  • If it isn't possible for you to build or offer a better product i.e. you need to be doing something different or better from what is out there already (even if that is your marketing or customer support).
  • If the process of getting to your V1 involves patents or intellectual property of any kind, which requires a longer timeline and runway.
  • If you don't believe you can find enough paying customers to pay your bills (i.e. the market is simply too small and already too congested).

So unless these facts exist within the space you want to attack, I'd say (mostly) ignore your competition and focus instead on your idea / vision and finding customers to pay for that.

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