I see many who cancel their startup because of the competition and I see many that fail (or just can’t really succeed) for reasons affected by the same thing. I learnt that it doesn’t matter how many are out there as long as you can offer something better or just different and people want it, after all it’s evolution, world always worked like this.

Let’s take a streaming service as an example (recently I saw a question on this subject on Quora). Even with all the big names such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO or Amazon Video out there, it isn’t hard to succeed in concept, but when it comes to actual work, product, content, distribution, etc it’s just as hard as anything else.

How to compete?

If you want to compete then you have to offer something better or different in terms of content or subscription (what comes first in mind). When it comes to content it’s obvious that getting it on a larger scale or faster than the other streaming services isn’t easy at all for a newcomer. Regarding subscriptions it doesn’t take too much time to figure out ways people love to handle them.

Don’t compete in terms you can’t succeed!

If you are going for the word “better” you should forget content, it’s bad from the start.

Still, content is the most important one, right? If you can’t beat it, beat everything else and believe me, beating everything but content is simple and super realistic in this case.

  1. You can always figure out a better subscription plan or creative ways around it, if I can do it in a matter of minutes by considering every single issue it comes with, I’m sure your team can do it too for a serious business plan.
  2. Go for design. Maybe this one is the easiest. Some of the other streaming services already look good, but when it comes to design and user experience there are no limits, they can always be better and much more friendly to the users than those of yesterday. For me design and user experience are really important when on digital platforms, if I don’t like the way they look (I can accept quite many though with some effort) I just leave them alone regardless of “maybe brilliant”content.
  3. What about a better audience? Maybe a better defined one, focusing on a specific segment or targeting people with a specific interest. Maybe the best outcome would be made from limiting the content to one category or interest, such as documentary, sports, cartoon, music videos, TV shows or movies (pretty hard the last 2), anyways something new or different. Playing with strategies around the content might result something ideal.

You can always look to make something “different” or why not unexpected?! All you need is a little creativity. For example, you could target countries that don’t offer dubbed movies or TV shows in their native language and you could obtain rights to do these and offer them solely through your streaming service. Maybe it sounds weird but can it become a success? Why not?! No one else offers something like this. Could it replace cinemas in the future? If they don’t evolve much and they don’t do it now, sure! It’s your job to investigate it of course. It’s just the first not too creative idea that came to my mind, I’m sure you can think about something much better when it’s about your own serious business.

Build it the way people love it

As I said on Quora:

Build it as a combination of your vision and result of researches about what people or just your targeted audience would like to get.

The right marketing campaign gives you wings

You should start your “big” badass marketimg campaign at the very first piece of your idea and vision…and it should be planned for a very long run with doors to change or completely wipe it off and replace it in case.

When you have an amazing MVP let the world know that a new king is coming. Reach out to news and media platforms, they’ll give you a cape if you have anything of value.

Then the “small” marketing campaigns should be everything user experience stands for, from on-screen aesthetics in promotional videos (and not just) to the ways you promote them (through celebs your targeted audience loves, social media, etc).

Overcome the competing “instincts”

If you make the people want it they’ll gift you with a crown. From then on you should focus on developing further your brand and its identity. It’s hard to get your own throne, it happens when your product gets remembered. What you should do is making it stand out at least from the very beginning and all the way long.