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Software markets and businesses are 10x bigger due to the internet (eladgil.com)
118 points by eladgil 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

My experience of this is that the size makes it harder as an entrepreneur to access the market.

You can't, say, develop a local presence and become the best in your corner of the country, as you hit global competition from mature products right at the start.

What's everyone else's experience?

This sales article [1] talks about focussing on a specific niche (Recipe blogs => Paleo recipe blogs => Paleo recipe blogs run by women), and then creating an echo chamber within that specific niche. This helps you spread by word of mouth, or you point to existing customers within that niche when selling to others.

> Once you are the big fish in a very small pond then you want to jump over into a neighboring pond. The tendency is to immediately go mainstream, but you probably don’t yet have enough traction for that. Once we found success with a subset of fitness blogs I looked for others in a similar industry. So we went from interval training blogs, to running blogs, to powerlifting blogs. Then from there it’s easy to step into the diet/recipe blogs that have overlap.

Instead of trying to become the best in "your corner of the country", you could focus on the corner of some specific niches.

[1] https://nathanbarry.com/sales/

I 100% agree with this. Now that geographic barriers are coming down, you have to offer something unique and specialized. This is an incredible trend.

It forces people to come up with unique and better products for particular use cases. It allows people in poor underdeveloped areas to have access to global markets.

For my company for example, we work in Southern Oregon (one of the least industrially developed places on the West Coast), we have a support team in Costa Rica, a designer in India and we sell products nationally that people cannot find locally.

I have software product that only about 200 companies in United States need - the internet has made discovering, selling, iterating and supporting those companies significantly easier than it would have been 20 years ago in a software world of boxed retail software, mail-order catalogs, trade shows, and phone calls.

I think that's why people raise larger amounts of money as the cost of providing the software itself goes down. You have to assume the market has unlimited capital, so it's more about making a case that your team is the right corner to start in.

sure, but it's kind of a shame. Ever larger VC funds today pursue opportunities that require little actual new technology. VC today buys marketshare in markets that represent a new application of widely available tech. Look at the difference between what VC once invested in (semiconductors, new kinds of computers) and what they invest in today (Uber, AirBnB). People still get rich, but i'm not sure society benefits to the same degree.

From a simple consumer's perspective, I'm content with all software I already have, and don't have extra money to burn. The few times I need more software, I can usually find free (and open source) solutions pretty quickly, and I've never had to compile it myself.

From a seller's perspective, I've made software that I found useful and nobody's ever willing to pay for it. The few times I did make money off software, it was because it was shiny, during the era when shiny software got attention and made money. And even then, it was short lived.

I personally think we've exhausted all categories of software possibilities. What society could really use now is to reinvent existing software in a reasonable way, with better principles:

- Make software much more interoperable with other software, and invent decent protocols for this.

- Make software less invasive of our lives, and less manipulative of our minds, moods, and attention spans.

- Make software that encourages you to get the job done and move on with your life, rather than optimizing for endless consumption.

Put another way, imagine there was no software at all right now, but we still know everything we know about software. And imagine avaricious people didn't call the shots, but the software engineers who care make the decisions. Imagine we could still collaborate with one another as fast as we do now. All you have is hardware and a bunch of specs and firmware. Now, what could humanity come up with?

That's what we should be working towards.

> I personally think we've exhausted all categories of software possibilities.

640k programs should be enough for everyone.

> From a seller's perspective, I've made software that I found useful and nobody's ever willing to pay for it.

If you don’t put time, effort and ingenuity into sales and marketing you won’t get anybody to pay for your product or service, in the overwhelming majority of cases. If you build a better mousetrap the world will not beat a path to your door.

This is just a problem of globalism in general IMO, of which the internet is a major facilitator.

Only 10x? How large would Facebook, Uber, or AirBnB be on a 1980’s BBS? an 1880’s telegraph network? a 1780s campfire?

The other examples may have been 10x each but the Internet seems more like 1,000,000x

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