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Competition is everywhere, but it doesn’t matter

Focus on your customers, not your competitors

Competition running track

“If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.”
– Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

We’ve just been in Dublin for a great conference all about the SaaS industry in Europe.

After days of talking with hundreds of other SaaS founders, employees, and investors, one thing’s clear: if you’re doing something in SaaS, you have competition.

There’s competition from all angles: from the big incumbents plodding along, from the tiny nimble one-person hustlers, and from the fast growing “series A and beyond” startups.

No field or industry or company is exempt from this intense competitive environment.

But it doesn’t matter.

One of the big reasons there’s so much excitement in SaaS right now is that most of the world is still not even close to adopting the tools and software they really need. There’s an unimaginably large addressable market out there for thousands of SaaS businesses.

Most of the world does not live on ProductHunt.

When we’re building features and products, we’re acutely aware of everything going on in our industry – we know every feature and every little quirk of every one of our competitors.

But your customers and your potential customers rarely know the industry you’re in as well as you, and they almost always buy on criteria that go far beyond features and specs.

People buy from people they like and people they trust. They buy based on what they hear and what they feel. They buy to solve problems.

Build a great product that solves a really big, painful problem for your customers, and go out of your way to make them really really happy.

That’s not easy. It takes a ton of time and effort, and it can mean doing a lot of hard stuff – like actually getting out of the building and not sitting in Sketch all day.

But if you do that you’ll barely have time to worry about your competitors – you’ll be too busy building something that’s unique and better.

Focus on your customers, not your competitors, and a lot will figure itself out.

Written by
James is CEO and one of the co-founders of GoSquared. He also likes to talk about design.

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