Why you should love your competitors

This article has been publicated originally on my blog, and kindly translated in English by Florence Zettel. A big thank you to her for her time and efforts.

At this very moment, how many people around the world are actively looking for a solution to the same problem you have been trying to address?

I hope for you that there are many of them.

Not too many, but still. Enough people so that within your audience, around one person out of three knows what you mean when you talk about what you try to achieve.

In my opinion, one of the least understood aspects of innovation is: it is more about convincing actual consumers of alternative solutions to change their habits and affects, rather than about creating new markets.

If you are someone who wants to offer something new to an audience, ask yourself one unique question, maybe the most important one:

At this precise moment, how many people are actively seeking or using solutions to address the issue I think I identified so well ?

Contrary to what might be assumed, the existence of alternatives, competitors, or cash already spent by the customer segments you identified aren’t threats at all. At the opposite, if there is still time to enter the market, if it’s not yet dominated by some actors, these conditions can even be extremely encouraging.

Just try to understand that at your level, you don’t have to create huge differences on people’s habits in order to exist.

You will just enable your consumers to reallocate a substantial part of their attention, time and resources to the comprehension and use of your solution, rather than the other ones.

Begin with the people, begin with the human beings, begin with all the pre-constituted communities of customers and users of existing solutions, the people already obsessed today with finding a solution to a problem they already recognize.

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