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  • Writer's pictureChris Holscher

No Competition - really?


„We don’t see competition at this point.“ Famous last words. In b2b tech, your competition is everywhere. And you absolutely want it. 3 shifts of perspective:

1. Innovative startups are competing at the very least with ignorance.

Your target buyers have survived to this point - and any change costs them effort and involves risk.

Some buyers feel like they need to protect their legacy. Why invest in X when that means half their XYZ architecture needs to be redone?

So it is easier to ignore you. That ignorance may not even be all too negative. But you compete with it.

2. If startups are more lucky, they compete with DIY.

Good! Your target buyers see the issue and have even taken it on. But now you’re competing with their own people.

People with direct access to internal information and to the decision-makers. People who may regard you as a threat not just to a deal - but to their job.

That’s a fierce type of competition.

So then - how do you beat „ignorance“ and „DIY“ competition?

You don’t. You appreciate them and seek to learn everything about them. You size them.

Then you sharpen your positioning. And you ally with them. You show how they gain a relevant advantage in their context by applying your proposition with a reasonable ROI.

Selling is change management of benefit calculations.

3. Are you sure that „no competitors“ is a good thing at all?

Innovation tends to pop up in different places around the world at roughly the same time. Because the same problems occur everywhere, technological means are available everywhere and smart people are everywhere.

Seek to find your worthy rivals and study them.

The existence of „worthy rivals“ tells you A) that your topic has been positively qualified in other places, and B) you have allies in creating momentum to disrupt or create an entirely new category.

Think bigger than your HQ address.

If you can make the case to an investor that your topic is gaining momentum - why not get serious and buy one or two of your worthy rivals? Yes, even at early stages.

Be sure: If you don’t think that way, they might. And large established vendors absolutely do. Consider your options.

B2B tech is a race and you need the best market insight as early as possible to make bolder decisions faster than others.

This is how industry analysts are thinking. You definitely have competition - and you absolutely want it.

I can get you a lot more information about how b2b tech startups are working with industry analysts every day.

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