I was intrigued by an article I read recently about a college business class assignment. Each team was given $5 to start a business and operate it for a few hours. Success was determined by how much total revenue was generated. The teams could plan all they wanted but once they opened the envelope with the money in it, a time clock started.
The interesting thing is that the best ideas (most profitable) were from those teams that didn’t spend any of the money. In other words, they started with $0 capital. The winning team generated $600 on a Saturday night. The problem they solved? Wait times at popular restaurants.
There are problems that need a solution everywhere! Entrepreneurs are the ones who decide to do something about it.
A market with no clear market leader is a free for all for a lot of competition. It’s also a sign that no one has figured out the key value proposition.
Competition tends to lead to a comparison of features and it’s an easy stretch to begin attacking the competition for their weaknesses.
This is an arrogant behavior because it takes focus away from the most important constituent, which is the customer. Attacking competitors takes time, effort and energy. Worse yet, it is a sign of fear.
The winner in the market will be the one who solves the customer’s problem.
In order to”dent the universe” (with deference to Steve Jobs), you have to think big. If you think big, its is highly possible you will fail…big. You’ll work just as hard making a small idea successful so you might as well go for the dent.
The other side of this is that entrepreneurship is not a part-time job. You have to be all in, what ever you do or you’ll be in the no man’s land between success and failure.
Dharmesh Shah writes a very fine blog: OnStartups at http://onstartups.com/