TTo succeed as a enterprise start up you need to innovate, disrupt markets & solve problems in radical new ways. Or perhaps it would be a whole lot easier and just as profitable to take an existing business model and simply improve on it?
Is it easier to learn from the experience and mistakes of others than trying to disrupt a market? Can one just "do it better" to give oneself the competitive edge?
Old Tricks for New Dogs
Michael Dell didn’t invent the computer he merely decided to make them better than the systems of existing competition. Apple's reputation is more for recombining existing technologies rather than inventing entirely new ones form scratch. The fact that Apple didn’t invent the MP3 format didn’t stop them from cornering the market for MP3 players.
It's a matter of being first into the market for bigger risk and reward or be the enterprise that enters later for less cost and less share of the prize.
Just how sustainable are the Pathfinders & Unicorns?
In recent years we’ve seen the advent of ground-breaking start-ups and disruptors such as AirBnB, Uber and Twitter. What we don’t know is how long these entities will last and in some cases whether they will ever make a profit. Like the frontiersmen of the wild west- disruptive business models involves high-risk, uncertainty and unknown variables. Perhaps the better route is to contest an established market and to do it better?
Safer as second-wave colonizer rather than as a founding father or pioneer?
Letting someone else investigate the swamps and unchartered territories of business might make a whole lot of sense. For one thing, you can learn from the initial explorer’s mistakes. Speke, Livingstone and other early explorers of Africa might have been first entrants into that “market” but it was the likes of Cecil Rhodes and others who came long after who made their fortunes.
If you really want to disrupt a market with a fresh technology you will need serious backing (investors) and that brings with it another load of challenges. Maybe just take the known route? One which requires less investment and which you can benchmark against existing businesses.
Stop waiting for divine inspiration and start doing...
So if you know that business is for you and if you’ve been waiting for some spark of inspiration to fill your mind with a breath-taking invention perhaps it's time to think again.
Why not just do something that already exists only do it better? There will be less risk, existing proof of concept and best of all you can research existing vendors exhaustively until you find a way of beating them at their own game. You also don’t have to risk poison arrows or spears from being the first pioneer to enter alien territory.
Editorial Disclaimer- We're not really sure we believe what we've written here but sometimes playing devil's advocate is a good way of getting people to think twice!
Do you think you are ready to quite the rate race start your own business? Read our article on How to fire your boss