Another universal competitor.

Our product always has competitors. It could be either specific products (direct competitors) or indirect competitors, like “usual way to do this” (asking friends, google, a physical store near home, etc).

However, there is another powerful competitor that we often forget about. Its called “do nothing at all.” Let’s look at educational startups, for example. Most people don’t choose between different educational programs; they choose between “learn something now” or “put it off for later”. This competitor appears again whenever founders describe their idea using the words “useful” or “interesting”.

To start doing something new, people should feel a threat to lose something if they don’t do it. Getting something useful or interesting is not enough. 

To sell your product successfully, you have to have an answer to that question: What will people lose if they do nothing? 

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