There is nothing new under the sun. Players across different market segments are constantly trying to outdo each other for market and mind share. Technology in its latest variant is often front and centre in these wars. When I speak about technology, I refer to the full spectrum, not just bits and bytes that we experience more ‘tangibly’ through various software products and platforms we use.
We have no shortage of solutions addressing pertinent needs, yet someone will break away from their current station, put together a team and pursue opportunities driven by the hope that their tweak or insight into the problem will be sufficient to justify the creation of a successful business.
What ultimately determines the success of a product or service given the above, coupled with the rising rate of commoditisation of everything?
Many would default to access to capital as the answer, which can hold both true or false depending on how you break it down and which industry you are invested in. I have observed that product quality or design does not have a 1:1 relation with overall success of the business that produces it.
Discovery and distribution are the two must have pillars in any business strategy. What comes first also depends on what industry you are in.
If you are dealing in physical goods, it would be smart to have distribution mapped out way before you start beating the drums to announce your presence. It would be defeatist to work with a just in time distribution network rollout as success may see you unable to keep up.
The power of the agency model comes to the fore and one can either build and own a network or piggy back on existing ones to reduce total cost of access, as downlines would be free agents servicing multiple opportunities.
For digital services, distribution can be viewed from a scaling perspective as this determines availability. Discovery then becomes the focus given that there is a lot of noise and competition for eyeballs. Poorly built services – user experience and user interface, with well baked discoverability tactics or networks and a decent backend will make bank leaving superior services spoiling for second place.
Over time, good distribution drives discovery as the pipes to a paying base have been laid out and arguably any product or service can get a good jumpstart and shorten its time to profit.