While competition presents obvious challenges to any business, it also presents opportunities to grow your business—team motivation, competitor cooperation, and getting acquired are just some examples of how. This section covers these matters, and other areas such as how to handle competitor success.
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Building the “best product” doesn’t only mean the best physical product (or digital product). It doesn’t just mean the best UI. Or the best UX. It includes the best distribution. The best supply chain. The best customer experience. The best support. The best partner channel. The best interface to a prospective customer.
I am a huge advocate of competition and recognize that it pushes innovation and helps democratize markets by pushing the best products to the top. However, I also wonder if arms races between many players is an efficient system. Would the world be better off pooling resources and allowing capital allocation to be spread solving more problems? Its hard to say because many great companies we’ve come to know and love emerged from crowded spaces and have made this world a better place.
For most businesses, competition is a given. When I walk to work, I am often struck how many local businesses have competitors literally right across the street. Clearly competition is something you can learn to live with and still operate successfully. In fact, there are some very good things about competition. And there are some challenging things.
Winning comes by knowing the customer better, executing better, and continuing to work on the problem after sane people have cashed out. If a competitor is going to scare you, you shouldn’t have started a business in the first place. Every big market or successful business will attract competitors anyway. Always assume competition.