Got an idea for a startup? That's easy.
Got a way to convert that to a hot product? That's hard.
What's a good solution? Try focusing on service.
Some call it "user experience" while other dub it "value added". Whatever you call it, this is what can move you from just another supplier to an amazing standout.
Did you get the point?
Try this example: Build a hardward gadget to store and play back digital music. Creative did it (Rio) and was first to market. Years later along comes Apple with the iPod (and all the service that comes with it). Know anyone using a Rio? Now I think you get it.
I've seen a vast range of startups using service to become gorillas. Decades ago I watched Applied Materials emerge as the semiconductor equipment gorilla by focusing on delivering outstanding service around the world (instead of focusing on the complex technology). Today you can experience user experience/service you get when you enter a Whole Foods store. Both companies were startups of new waves in new markets. Both became gorillas of their new categories. By focusing on customer experience.
Search/social consumer web businesses are ripe for using user experience/service to build an outstanding business. So are game businesses (most of which desperately run scared hoping to find a new game to launch before users become bored with their last one). From Shanghai to San Palo to San Francisco the opportunities are wide open to build enduring greatness by focusing on end user experience/service in the fresh markets popping up day after day.
BOTTOM LINE: Are you stuck with an ordinary business idea for your startup? Are you focused on building "the killer app?" Try not doing those, instead try creating a fresh enterprise based on supplying end users with an experience they will call "Amazing!" "Like no other!" That will be very hard to duplicate. Much harder than duplicating your technology. Look at Facebook -- the technology is naive -- but the user experience is very hard to duplicate. When you can do that, you'll be able to build a competitive advantage so strong your competitors will complain it is unfair.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!