You don’t have to be big or be completely original to be successful

by Ashvini on October 17, 2012 · 9 comments

in Entrepreneurship

An idea does not need to be a super size or all encompassing one. Entrepreneur may look at companies who have created great products and then derive the idea that is close to the most successful idea present in the market.

There are many social media networks that look like each other. Also there are hundreds of soap brands, shampoos, cars, apps and many others. Without a good branding , it would be hard to tell one from the other.

Entrepreneurs often have the notion that to win the market , they have to create something big, something original. In my opinion, original maybe but big definitely no. If one does not want to rely on others to fund them or they do not want to engage in direct competition with the leader in the industry, they have to neither be wholly original nor big.

When a product rises to become famous, competitors create similar products. However these products are not very different from the original. Thus they never take off the way leaders have done.

Spot the trouble

What the entrepreneur needs to do is to find chinks in the armour i.e. areas where the leader is weak, unwilling to respond ( because it is looking somewhere else, for example maintaining its market share) or just careless. This is how entrepreneurs have been successful all throughout. They spot inefficiency , build a product around it and become big. This does not need big budgets, however it may need big and deep thinking.

For example, big social media networks till now had a bad track record of managing user privacy. A good competitor would have concentrated on best quality privacy control. They would also have a paid model instead of a  free model. All they had to promise was that they would not ever touch or look at the data of their customers.

Would people pay ?

Yes, it is a niche market and hundreds of people who want to connect but do not find an alternative, that is cool enough to rival Facebook. That would have been some threat to the leader. ( There , I gave you an idea to think about).

To win market, you need to spot inefficiencies which will always exist no matter how perfect world becomes.

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Jeevan Jacob John October 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I do agree, Ashvini.

How many big ideas have succeeded in winning the hearts of the customers? Not many. Often times, the most successful brands are the ones – like you said, that spot inefficiencies and create a solution around that particular problem.

Completely original? Well, I doubt that any products can be completely original nowadays – although there can (because the inside parts of every product are still available in the market – as a “product”. We are just putting it altogether and forming a new product, aren’t we?)

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Hi Jeevan,

Thanks for your comment. I think in times like this , it is not really possible to have an idea that is 100% original. We can learn and build upon ideas of others and do better with it. You have summarized this very well :)

Roz Bennetts October 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Interesting post that I totall I agree with, in particular your observation about spotting the chinks in the armour of other brands. I sold diamonds on eBay as a sole trader for a couple of years and I consistently got sales where other sellers failed to; who had better photographs, better reputations and better diamonds (if I’m honest about it).

The chink in their armour was they always over-sold their diamonds with lots of adjectives and super enthusiastic descriptions about how wonderful the diamond was and ‘how it sparkled like no other’. I recognised that all buyers of diamonds on the internet had several things in common but most important of all of them was that they were all nervous about parting with £k’s on the internet but were tempted by the prospect of a bargain.

My pitch was therefore aligned to this fear. I pointed out the flaws in my diamonds and was much more conservative in my descriptions. I would also show pictures of the rings on my hand so that people could actually see the diamond in situ, something my competitors never seemed to cotton onto. I removed their fear and for this they wanted to do business with me.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

That is an awesome example Roz. Examples like these put my thoughts into perspective. Your research about customer mindset and competitive analysis was excellent. Putting up real pictures with the flaws was also a good idea. It made the offering more real and human.
Thanks for sharing the experience here .

Roz Bennetts October 26, 2012 at 12:36 am

Thanks Ashvini, that’s exactly what I was trying to do, be human in a very non-human and anonymous envrionment!

Nukul Upadhye October 18, 2012 at 2:38 am

Nice post Ashvini… Im sharing this…

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Thanks Nukul

farouk October 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

you are so right
its all about finding the right business need
then targeting it with your products or services

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Thanks Farouk

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