The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to deal with a hyper-competitive market if you’re in one.

Today’s startup world is super competitive. It is not uncommon for there to be hundreds, if not thousands of competitors in the market you operate. So how do you differentiate your brand from the rest and get the attention of those you want to do business with?

Tune in to this week’s episode to hear Steli and Hiten thoughts about how competitive the market is, what you can do to differentiate and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:22 About today’s topic.

01:25 Why this topic was chosen.

02:00 Why all markets are going to be hyper-competitive in future.

03:39 Steli’s two cents on the issue.

05:40 Why it’s important to stand for something.

06:21 The reason why became successful in the CRM space.

07:49 One way to differentiate in a hyper-competitive market.

09:40 A second way to approach differentiation in a super competitive market.

11:26 One last tip from Steli.

12:19 Why competition is a good thing.

3 Key Points:

There’s always a niche that’s underserved or overlooked.

In today’s world, it’s probably going to be hard to compete on features.

We built a product that was very differentiated for a customer that was very undervalued and we marketed it in a very different voice.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah, and I'm going to talk about something today with Steli on this web chat that is near and dear to his heart. I think that's why he wanted to talk about it, so Steli you're going to have to take the lead on this, but basically the topic is how to deal with hyper-competitive market if you're in one and Steli's company,, happens to be in one of the most hyper-competitive, or competitive I guess, hyper-competitive software markets out there, CRM. So they build a CRM solution, a Customer Relationship Management Service, I guess. Dude, sucks to be you.



Steli Efti: I would agree with you if I wasn't me. I would think the same thing. You know, I always tell people, if somebody would have told me, I don't know, six years ago, that I would be running, or seven years ago, that I would be running a CRM business, I would have punched them in the face. Nothing inside of me was like, "Yes! CRM-"



Hiten Shah: Let's do that.



Steli Efti: " ... That's what I want to do. Let's go into that market." Nothing really inside of me wanted that. So the reason why I wanted to talk to you about this is that I've given a few talks on this subject because people have been asking me to speak about it and I've increasingly noticed this notion of people describing the space they're in, or founders describing the space they're in as, "The most competitive space," or, "One of the most competitive spaces." Or, "Hyper-competitive." I'm starting to think that this is going to be new reality where it doesn't fucking matter what you do, it's going to be a hyper-competitive space eventually. Because of the way the world works, because of the way ... Especially in software, where a single developer, somewhere in a random location around the world can compete with a venture tech start up in the Valley with tens of millions in venture funding and so there's this explosion of software products in many, many categories and people feel overwhelmed by that. Yeah, I have a personal story, because I launched a company in an insanely competitive space but I also feel like this is a trend. I don't know if you agree with me but it feels to me like a trend. I look at this company that does this once a year, the Marketing Tech Space report or something, I just know or remember there's like a graphic of all th...

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