Finding your first business competitor can be scary. At least for me it often brings out my worst demons and I start questioning myself worse than a high school kid.
How can I possibly compete with that? Should I even start when I’m this far behind? Who the hell am I to think I can bring something to this table?
Competition is a good thing though. It shows you’re not alone in thinking there’s a market and if your competition is making money it might even be a lucrative one. The smart marketer also know how to turn these existing user bases into gold.
While I can see these benefits of competition on a logical level it can still feel scary. Mostly because of how I envision conversations with future customers, where they all ask questions like “why should we buy from you when X does Y?” or “why haven’t you got feature Z?”.
Tough questions! And one should really put some serious thought into them. If you can’t confidently and honestly feel that you can help your customers better than anyone else, how could you possibly sell successfully?
I recently encountered these doubts myself when I started working on Teametry and found three major competitors. Million dollars funded competitors. But instead of despairing over these findings, and with good help from the ever inspiring Niklas, I set out to define my difference.
Going through the competitors websites I started to see some themes that I wasn’t too happy with.
One tries to replace daily standup meetings. With emails. While I really like the idea of these meetings I think that email is one of the worst formats to hold it in. The whole idea is to quickly sync up with your team and who wants to, every single day, write email reports for that?
No, I want to create something to complement all the existing channels. We have chat for quick exchanges, video calls for face-to-face, email for dailies, etc. What is really missing is the wrap-up for the week.
The two other talked a lot about workers reporting to their managers and maybe that flies in enterprisey environments but I’m not a big fan. Instead I believe in teams where everyone can be part of the decision process and where everyone shares the responsibility.
What makes you different
So now I got my angle; weekly synchronization for flat organizations with remote teams. Now that’s a niche! And it’s incredible how this mindset helps level the playing field.
All of a sudden I’m no longer months behind development with a product that lacks 80% of my competitors features, but instead I feel that my competition have been running months in the completely wrong direction.
I’m not just one guy competing against big teams of smart people, but I’m the only one finally working on the perfect solution to these problems.
Who the hell am I, my voice asks me? I’m different.