Startups often attempt to attack the market leader by launching products/services with superior features.
Most startups die when the leader responds with a similar or better feature. The Defensive strategy crushes the Offensive strategy.
Serial entrepreneurs instead use the Flanking strategy and win. It is focused on an uncontested market segment, one not yet dominated by another company. There may be several competitors in the space, but non have yet been "first to get it right". That is the opening for a clever startup.
- FOCUS: on social interaction between people who enjoy food. Let's dub it "social food" for now. Bloggers will soon give it a moniker that will stick.
- FLANKING: into a fresh sector of the food space. Many startups are currently offering part of the food experience. But this new space (social food) has no leader, no dominant company, yet. The focus of Foodily draws a larger circle around the food space, adds value to its users and distinguishes itself from other food startups. Bloggers are already a-buzzing.
There are some great tips from this fascinating startup:
- Note how social networking has been integrated as a tool (not a business). It is to be exploited on behalf of Foodlily users. Their business is not social networking, rather, it is about a specific experience to be shared among a crisp category of people who enjoy food. Fortunately for the company's employees and investors, that is a huge number of people world-wide.
- The draw, or carrot, the "gotcha!" for Foodily user begins with a clever home page whose message is about finding recipes. Following the clicking trail leads to social networking moments that begin the process of sharing with friends. Thus the simple, focused start leads to the the extensive offerings of the comprehensive service that grows richer and richer in social food sharing.
- The core team consists of top class professionals who had worked together at Yahoo. That excites investors and candidates for employees of the startup. That is pure gold, hard to duplicate and ads power to the company's ability to execute swiftly with high efficiency.
BOTTOM LINE: Foodlily is a clear example of how to use Focus and Flanking. Those are key to startups looking to win. Attacking a market leader leads to carnage, blood all over the carpet. You can avoid the blood bath if you instead use Focus and Flanking. Serial entrepreneurs get it. You can to. Modify your bplan and launch with confidence. It's what builds unfair advantages.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!