There’s a big difference between being better, and being a lot better. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in our society today, and many markets are already overcrowded. While some new companies are innovating in areas where others have stayed away from for years, such as Nest improving technology like thermostats and smoke sensors, most are creating better versions of existing things. If an idea is just better than something already in existence, usually, there’s little chance for success. If you as an entrepreneur are attempting to innovate a saturated market, your idea must be better than the competition by a large margin. This has to do a lot with convenience and people’s trust. Take Google for example. Back when it first started, there were already many other popular search engines. Google however was so innovative that it wasn’t just better than the competition- it was a LOT better. Today, it would be quite difficult for any company to convince Google users to switch away to another search engine, i.e. Bing trying to market to Google users. So when thinking of the “next big thing”, don’t just make an existing idea better, make a game-changer. This advice may sound obvious, but it’s a major issue with the majority of startups today.
This article was inspired by Robert Scoble’s thoughts on entrepreneurship and startups, as well as prior experience working in saturated markets.