CHAPTER 5WHO ARE MY COMPETITORS?

No fintech startup in its right mind has the strategy of disrupting a bank. No gifted insurtech startup starts out wanting to make insurance companies redundant. No intelligent healthcare startup plans to put all pharmaceutical companies out of business. It's too complicated and doomed to fail. The question to ask yourself as a startup is not how to disrupt a business. The question is how to eat an elephant, and the answer is, as you know: one bite at a time. Smart startups focus on one problem, one value-creating service, one process worth optimizing, one potentially transformative experience, and then do everything they can to become world champions in just that. That is why innovation is much easier for them than it is for established companies. A startup has one job.

Over the years, I have carried out many qualitative and quantitative analyses with entrepreneurs to understand what drives them. And if there's one thing I've heard over and over again in those analyses, it's a sentence that, in the simplest and most beautiful way, demonstrates the basic motivation most entrepreneurs have for embarking on their start-up adventure: ‘There's got to be a better way…’. A problem, a nuisance, an unfulfilling experience, a product that did not do what its marketing promised, coupled with someone who did not just sweep the problem under the carpet or settled with writing a complaint to customer service or a negative review on Yelp, but was so annoyed ...

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