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How to Break into a Crowded Market and Win (tanyaprive.com)
62 points by tanyaprive1485 63 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

It's interesting to contrast Vivino's strategy of breaking into crowded markets by doing "a competitive landscape analysis" versus Inkdrop's advise of getting their first 500 paid users by "Ignoring All Competitors" as discussed in a previous HN post here:


We really have no idea what makes a business successful in such a way that we can turn that knowledge into a repeatable process.

> Quickly Zachariassen learned that Vivino didn’t have to be the best wine app. It just had to be better than his competitors.

Okay cool, words mean things, and doesn't "best" mean "better than the rest"? I just feel like the article is full of phrases like this that rub off as motivational speaker styling, and that makes me inherently skeptical.

I have the problem of primarily being interested in a few already crowded markets with gargantuan incumbents. I dream about starting in an adjacent, undiscovered niche, growing to scale, then nimbly pushing my way back in and catching them off guard.

The problem is that I love the space they operate in, but I feel they're delivering mostly generic tripe. I can't just go work for them. I don't have the clout to become a leader in their orgs, and I wouldn't be happy at the bottom.

I'm talking about Netflix and Disney.

That is one of the recommendations of the book Crossing the Chasm

Couldn't you find a niche in video and deliver value there? Seems like a pretty big space.

Google is a classic example. Although all my friends were using Google when it was hosted at Stanford, when they got some money I still wondered, "but who thinks the world needs another search engine?"

I remember exactly when Google was released.

The reason it became popular was pretty simple. It was fast, clean, single purpose and had no advertising. It was the complete opposite of Altavista and Yahoo at the time. And as we've seen countless times there is always room in a market for simple, focused products.

Also - the results were atleast an order of magnitude more relevant.

> had no advertising.

That means they needed a lot of startup capital to get started. No adds no income. Give the heroin out for free until people get addicted.

At that time, we were getting new search engines that were fast and relevant often --- Google was the only one that didn't seem to get crushed with spam after 6 months. (After 10-20 years, maybe we could use another new one)

As a VC friend put it to me a few years ago: "I only get to invest in fools. Either they go into a crowded market where they will be crushed by the incumbent before getting airborne or they will go into a new market where they will run out of cash before getting airborne."

(if you're offended by his use of "fools" don't be -- he was being sarcastic: people can always find a reason to say "no").

In a way, aren't crowded markets lower risk? You already have a lot of validation that it's a thing people will pay for, and you have a lot of examples to show you how (and how not to!) do things.

> Zachariassen... noticed that the top players on the market failed to tell him one basic thing: should he buy this wine?

Good article. I long for a return to this kind of old-school capitalism, where people study the competition instead of fearing it, and try to get their money by being better.

But why vivino was better than competition? I mean we get the score and read reviews - but what else do they have??? Sorry I didn't check the mobile app but even last month I had to carefully craft my wine names to find them on the website

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