Earlier this month, I got this email from a friend:

“Why didn’t you ever tell me about this site? This is exactly what I was trying to create and just spent the last few weeks pulling people together to build me a site. Do you know how they are doing? They never once came up through my competitive intelligence and I just learned about them. Would like to know before I dump anymore money in my venture.”

This was my response:

“I can’t give you any insider information on any of these companies. I know the founders of all of them. It doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with you. It’s good to know the market but the competition is irrelevant. The market is big. 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.”

This was originally published on Quora. See my original post and the comments here.

Topics Competition · Quora

5 comments · Show

  • Gabe Lozano

    Competition, if nothing else, at least validates that the market has potential. Nothing to be scared of. If someone tells me that they don’t have any competition, I generally assume:

    1. They’re lying
    2. They’re stupid
    3. There isn’t a market

    Any of which are troublesome.

    Of course there are exceptions, such as companies forming completely new markets, but those are few and far in-between.


  • Rianne

    I couldn’t agree more, if your scared of competition then business is not for you.

  • Karl Jacob

    Great post. I have given this same advice to several entrepreneurs and inside several companies. I liken this to what my swim coach tried to beat into our heads….”Never ever ever look for your competitor. The only thing that results from looking back at your competitor is *you* slow down”

  • Startup Noob

    I’m glad I found this article; it calmed my nerves down completely. I am very new to the startup world, and I thought I had an extremely original idea. After many attempts at trying to find competition I finally found one… uno. You’d think that most would be happy to have Only found one in the early stages of a new market, but I felt almost completely blocked.

    Then I started to look closer at their operation and saw flaws in their product that mine was going to address, from the design to the pricing, mine is still going to be better. Also, their website was extremely hard to come by which told me they most likely don’t have their marketing figured out.

    I’m happy to have found your website, it addresses many things that I’ll need to learn as I go into my first startup. Thanks!

  • Rahul

    Hi Naval,

    Great Insight. On the flip side, what is there is tooooo much competitor? What if quite a few companies are claiming to do the same thing but your approach is better? What is your advice in that matter.