Startup Competition Means You’re Probably Heading in the Right Direction

I loved video games as a kid, and yesterday I stumbled across a meme that made me chuckle:

if i've learned anything from video games, it is that when you meet enemies it means that you're going in the right direction

I think this meme also holds true for startups, so I readjusted it:

If I’ve learnt anything from startups, it is that when you meet your enemies, it means that you’re going in the right direction.

So often competition bogs us down, keeping us awake late at night and causing our blood pressure to spike. I still remember the day I found the first competitive startup to Rentabilities. Then another rental marketplace cropped up a few months later, then three more the next year. Each time I encountered a new enemy, my inner-competitor wanted to goomba stomp each one into oblivion.

goomba stomp
How to Goomba Stomp

As the years went on, I realized our fiercest competition was not another startup¬†and that competition in the market is a good thing. Startup founders tend to be some of the most intelligent, competitive and driven people. If other smart founders are investing their time into a similar idea as your startup, it probably means there is something interesting about the market and it’s worth pursuing. If one of those startups raises funding, that is even better for you because it validates the market even more, giving you fodder for your own investor meetings. Your company is more likely to die by self inflicted wounds than by the sword of another startup.

Stop worrying about the competition and focus on your product, your customers and yourself.

And if you need some motivation, remember what Alexis Ohanian says:

Lives Remaining 0

Make it count.

One thought on “Startup Competition Means You’re Probably Heading in the Right Direction”

  1. Insightful and though-provoking post, Andy! Thanks for sharing.

    By the way, the Alexis Ohanian photo at the end is incredible and a perfect fit for the post.

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