Early in my startup career (when I was first building Oh Hey World), I severely underestimated the power of distribution.
In today’s landscape, the behemoths’ (Zillow, Facebook, AirBnB, Uber, etc) have a massive — and I mean massive — advantage when it comes to eyes on brand. They can be slow, but even if they’re 12 months late with their go to market, they can instantly put eyes on a new offering in a way that would cost a startup tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions.
That’s power. How do you compete?
Be better. Be cheaper.
Nope, and nope. Wrong.
Be different. Think big; think out of the box. Think moats, differentiation, and community. Think new category king.
The lesson for startup founders: don’t underestimate what it’ll cost to acquire customers, clients, and supporters. It’s going to break the bank. Literally.