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24 Comments

Your competitors don't matter

  1. 4

    I think your competitors still matter but not, in the same way, everyone thinks, you should learn from them, research them, and get inspired by them but don't try to compete with them and build your own product instead!

  2. 4

    I spent so many years, yes years, scrutinizing my competition. Trying to either replicate something I thought they did well or avoid doing something I thought they did badly. It drove me insane in the end. It was my partner who asked me one day why it mattered so much. I began to tell her why and realised that it really didn't matter at all. Focus on your own product/idea and make that the best it can be.

  3. 3

    Sometimes competitors can be a sign that it's a profitable market.

  4. 2

    Our main competitors are Teamviewer and Anydesk but we manage well and even picking up their clients) If you are interested in our experience - here the interview with Getscreen.me CEO

    How We Survived In The Read Ocean https://www.indiehackers.com/post/how-we-survived-in-the-red-ocean-interview-with-the-co-founder-of-getscreen-startup-0f2b89513f

  5. 2

    I am gonna have to disagree with you

    "But paying any mind to your competitors is not something any Founder or Product Manager should bother themselves with. Even with the occasional glance, you’ll be susceptible to their influence and any influence whatsoever is bad for your business."- You

    I have found that evaluating my competitors and their history/timelines has helped me avoid mistakes they made or copy decisions that brought them success

    “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” WC

    Although I do think that creative inspiration should not be catalyzed from competitors but from unique and personal sources.

  6. 2

    Depends entirely on the business model

    Literally just got back from a lunch w/ a restaurant chain operator who built a successful chain in the Pacific Northwest. When they traveled outside Oregon they would always find the top local restaurants where they visited (often meet w/ the owner) and would mercilessly "borrow" the good ideas and take them back to the pacific northwest. When they sold over a decade ago they were at $110m a year in gross revenue. (he operated a few other very successful businesses as well)

  7. 1

    I totally agree with the idea that focusing too much on your competitors can distract you from creating something truly unique and valuable. Instead, it's important to stay laser-focused on your customers and their needs. This approach will not only help you stand out in the market, but also build a loyal customer base.

  8. 1

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  9. 1

    I get your point and mostly agree -- used to be competitive in another field and realized early on that focusing on the competition was a waste of mental effort. SO I stopped listening or looking at them, at all. However, I think competitive research before you start a product is important -- for example, I'm developing a tool that lends itself readily to online surveys and thought that might be a good niche to try out with an MVP to help bootstrap the toolkit into something bigger (working in GAI). But doing some quick research I saw the field already has many players. What I would have to do to be modestly competitive was too much, and the price points were already low. In other words, a little research made me decide it wasn't worth the effort and now I'm focusing on something else. But once you decide to start, I agree, ignore them and focus on you.

  10. 1

    Thanks for sharing

  11. 1

    Your competitors matter, because they are after the same market you are, so you have to pay attention to them.

    However, you are you. And only you are you, so no one can compete in your identity space.

    But unless you are Freddy Mercury or Highlander.

    You had better be pretty damn cool, super smoother and good at managing systems.

    Otherwise none of it matters.

    Cos you're gonna dieeee!

  12. 1

    Good reading. I believe that if someone is investing in something, they should know whether it is worthwhile to do so or not. We should also know whether the product or service would be effective or not.

  13. 1

    There are some things worth checking, here are some that I do:

    • what is their main value proposition and which industries/personas their website is aimed at?
    • how far ahead are they in content marketing and what is their take? (Hoping that the way I want to do it is not exactly the same
    • what is their main conversion path and what do they expect of prospects? Can I make mine better?
    • If I search for their name, where will they pop up, on which sites? Doing this for a couple of competitors gives you a basic map - this is where it is most likely worth it to appear (blogs, vendor pages, etc)
  14. 1

    I get what you’re trying to say and I am a firm believer in playing the infinite game, where you compare yourself with what you were yesterday. But I don’t think you can completely ignore competition. Your competition shouldn’t define who you are but keeping an eye on what they re doing doesn’t hurt. In fact, I dare say, not knowing what they re doing is also putting yourself at risk. Knowing what they re doing and yet choosing to be yourself, separate matter altogether.

  15. 1

    I have met a lot of early stage founders (including myself) who were obsessed with competitors instead of achieving product-market-fit and I am say there is no better way to waste your valuable time than this. As rightly said, you should worrying about your competitors only when they start worrying about you. So, step 1 should always be go talk to your customers, solve their pain-points and build a great business, instead of obsessing about what others are doing

  16. 1

    Copying the competition is something that people without customers of their own do.

  17. 1

    I agree. Be focused on your customers and not your competitors but still you should make sure that you aren’t positioning yourself the same way as your competition because then the consumer won’t notice any difference from what you are offering and they will make their choice based on who has the lowest price.

  18. 1

    I agree with this, you should not make a new feature because your competitor did. The only way to differentiate from other is to focusing on the client and the problem they have. Thanks for sharing!

  19. 1

    Yup! I wish more founders/IHers realized this. Just do you, it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. Thanks for sharing this important message.

  20. 0

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  21. 0

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