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Peter Thiel gave a great talk about "second mover advantage".


Choose an existing market/app and go after it, but only if you bring a 10x differentiator.

I hear the "10x better" thing all the time, and it seems like an insurmountable barrier to me. I can only think of a few products that were 10x better than their predecessors.

Google maps - probably 10x better than the static maps before it.

Word - not 10x better than Ami. Excel - not 10x better than 123. Gmail - different but not 10x better than what I was using.

Nope, I got Google Maps, that's it.

Here's what I got:

- iPhone and iPad

- Broadband, technically not a product I guess.

- Salesforce.com, if you were around during that time, I think you'd agree.

- Touchscreen Ultrabooks, I don't care what anyone says, I LOVE them!

Personally I don't think Google Maps (upon it's conception) was 10x better than Mapquest. Even for a while after Maps came around, Mapquest was pretty compelling. Yahoo Maps was also around during this time, circa 2002 I believe, though I don't recall using it much.

I can think of quite a few products that weren't all that great upon first release. Sometimes it takes a few iterations/generations for it to really make sense.

Google didn't have to bring a 10x differentiator to the table in order for Google Maps to be worth it for them. They had other reasons for building it than directly making money off of it.

If you don't have to actively sell your product then the rules change.

I don't think it really needs to be 10x. It needs be significantly better at something, and enough so that you can get people to switch to your solution.

Or you might have a clever strategy for reaching potential customers that the elephant in the room hasn't reached yet. That could be enough to carve a niche on your own.

Sometimes just having a different pricing model is enough.

Exactly. Some aspect of the product should be 10x better than the competition.

Could be 10x lower operating costs by moving an on-premise solution to the cloud.

Could be 10x faster config and deployment.

Google's search engine was 10x AltaVista.

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