Industry giants vs your startup Competing with established companies that are orders of magnitude larger can be daunting. How can you succeed?

I am working on an EdTech idea and weeks away from MVP. The problem I am trying to solve is student and industry gap by simply connecting students with industry professionals. But LinkedIn also working on student and professional relationship and they have advantage as they are the largest professional network. How can you compete with them? They have resources, tools , team and finance. I want to be entrepreneur and academia is something my interest and working on idea for some time.


For a long time, Apple considered Apple TV to be a hobby, not a real product worth focusing on, because it did not generate a billion in revenue. However, for a start-up, getting to $50 million in revenue can be the start of a wildly successful business. But being a start-up affords many advantages most giants would salivate over. As a nimble start-up you can leverage those to succeed. It is hard to build a $10 billion revenue business doing just one thing, and most giants have a broad portfolio of businesses, numerous products for each, and targeting a variety of customer segments in multiple markets. There are a host of things you can do specifically because you do not have the same scale as the giants. The giants certainly could not.
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Answered 3 years ago

It would be very difficult if not impossible to compete head-on with a similar product.

But if you have something unique and truly meaningful then that differentiation and fulfillment of a user's need will help you get that initial momentum.

LinkedIn, Microsoft, Google... weren't built in a day. One step at a time.

Thinking about the competition is useful but thinking about the customer is equally important.

Start small, validate your product and who your customer is, then focus on scaling up.

If your product is valuable then customers will be prepared to pay for it, this will also help with funding and strategic partnerships.

In one of my companies, I built up a user base of over 100k users fairly quickly, it's not that difficult if you have something unique, focus on the customer first while being aware of the rest of the market.

Good luck!

Answered 3 years ago

Competing should not be the major concern or even a bother at all. the main target should be building your brand with unique features that are relevant to people. an industry giant has done a lot already, so competing with them wont be a good idea. the best approach is to move ahead by steadily improving your start up .

Answered 3 years ago

Hi. You may not appreciate it, but you probably have more advantages over enterprise competitors than you think! Focus on providing a more personalised service, be more responsive, leverage your specialist expertise and what-ever you can do to be different. Take your time and carve out your niche. Don't forget, your competitors will spend money to raise the profile of their solution which creates a wave of interest for you too. Place ads next to theirs. Create more impactful content than they do. Get exhibition space opposite their stand. Contact the bigger players and offer a complimentary service (you'll be doing them a favour!). Not everyone wants to engage with the global leaders, many people are looking for a specialist provider. Good luck!

Answered 3 years ago

Great question! Although the market may feel that it is saturated, in fact you are in a great spot. With the mass growth of the web and the shear amount of users, there are many opportunities to act as a niche player industries versus the big guys (Linkedin).

There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind in order to be successful: Be the expert, stay small and nimble.

Use your specific sub-niche as a way to differentiate yourself. Ensure that your MVP does not feel generic and is targeted to your specific audience, this is how you will grow presence (as well as SEO clicks). Come off as the expert in your space; learn the industry and ensure that your MVP shows your knowledge.

Also, you mentioned that you are small, use that as an advantage. Be nimble. Be flexible. Learn from your customers and provide them a solution that fits their needs.

Answered 3 years ago

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