Have you ever hesitated to put yourself out there because it seems like what you are doing has ALREADY been done?
If so, check out this totally cringeworthy moment when I had my ass HANDED to me during an investor pitch…
It was 2011 and while still working my corporate job, I was pitching investors to raise money for my Executive Transportation Start-up…
ALL was going well UNTIL one of them asked me, “So Jason, who are your COMPETITORS?”
That’s when sweet, slightly entitled, and over-eager JG said THE WORST thing you could ever say to an investor: “We HAVE none; there is ZERO competition in our market.”
DOH!!! It sounded SO GOOD in my head, and yet what this investor HEARD was “We are going to use YOUR money to test out an UNKNOWN service and MAYBE you will actually see a DIME of your money again in the distant future!”
Not surprisingly, my “ZERO competition” statement meant we got ZERO dollars that day!
There’s a popular (and kinda morbid) saying that goes, “the pioneers get slaughtered”.
Because oftentimes those who are “FIRST TO MARKET” take all the punches; bloodied, bruised and beaten, they retreat, lick their wounds and try again (OR don’t!)…
Our prospective investors knew that and by us not being aware that there was in fact TONS of competition AND that could be a GOOD thing, it made us look naive…
Earlier this year a company called The Bird showed up in Santa Monica providing motorized scooters that anyone can pick up, rent on demand, ride around and then leave wherever.
Then a few months later, a new company —The Lime— showed up and does the EXACT SAME THING.
The Lime founders didn’t think, “Oh, we can’t do this, it’s been done!”. They saw the SUCCESS that the Bird was having and realized they could ALSO serve the market with their OWN version.
It’s a GREAT THING that you are doing something that’s ALREADY been done. It means there is DEMAND; SOME kind of market validation and once you put YOUR unique perspective, personality, and authenticity on it, you will have created a Competition-PROOF (not necessarily Competition-ABSENT) Business!