- by Rory Ramsden
The idea that your competitors might copy your product seems to be exercising a few minds out there. The fact is that once you have rocked the market by launching your product they will take a long hard look at it in just the same you did to theirs at the start of your product creation cycle.
They only have to come up with something 10% better to be right back in the game.
So here’s what to do as succinctly put by Simon Woodside on Quora
1. Can’t do:
if your competitors have already determined a direction, it may be difficult or impossible for them to change.
Example: Facebook can’t imitate twitter because they established themselves as a “friends-only” sharing tool, and every time they try to make your feed more public they encounter massive user protests.
2. Won’t do:
Do something that will seem insane or unprofitable to them. Unprofitable because you are focusing on a segment of the market that your competitors cannot afford to target. It’s too small. Too specialist for a company with their overheads. Disruptive technology is all about doing something that seems illogical or bad business to an established player. But since you’re a small business start up, you can.
Example: Before the launch of the Ipad, the pundits were negative about its chances to say the least. The rest is history
3. Won’t understand:
Every company builds it’s own vision of the world. All of your competitors will have. Looking through these filters will make it very hard for them to ‘get’ how your business model works. By the time they have, you could be onto your second product launch with version 2.0. They will then be playing catch up and be viewed as me-too marketers.
For example, perhaps you have figured out a way to provide a service for free that your competitors are charging for. Or maybe you’ve discovered some user behaviour that seems illogical, like the idea that if anyone can edit an encyclopedia, you’ll get useful articles. Britannica didn’t see that one coming did they? Wikipedia did…
Bundle these three together and you will come up with a unique mechanism that will put you out of the reach of your competitors. Your product launch will position you as the market leader and you will have gained a foot hold in a new market from where you can expand by rinsing and repeating the same strategy.
And another thing
As the product owner you may well find it hard to see the wood from the trees because you are too close to it. Get a fresh pairs of eyes who can take a dispassionate view of both the market and your offer. That way you will be creating a product launch that will resonate with the market
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