Worried your idea might get stolen?

Here’s why it doesn’t matter.

Worried someone or some company is going to copy your product and feature set.

Well, they will.

But don’t worry about it. At least not that much.

Here’s why.

Feature sets.

Very few products consist of only one feature.

Otherwise, each feature will be one of many that will make up your product.

Which for startups it’s fun to think of all the different features you could build into a product to make something no one else has seen before.

However, by having a feature set all you’re saying is one day this new product might do these things. Which in the beginning, you might not even know if those things will be valuable by the time you can get to them.

The market might change, or you could learn something through research and testing that changes the trajectory of your product to serve a more valuable need.

Your feature set isn’t sacred. It’s not what defines your product or your company.

What defines your product is what it enables people to do that they couldn’t before.

Competition.

There are plenty of copy-cat businesses out there. Literally, every industry is made up of multiple companies doing some variation of the same thing though each would love for you to believe otherwise.

That’s why you shouldn’t worry if you start to see other companies doing the same thing as you.

Most likely you’re not the first person to think of whatever it is you’re working on.

Companies with more resources can take your feature set and implement them into an existing product or build an entirely new one in a fraction of the time you’ll be able to. They have the infrastructure to make it possible and there will be no stopping them if they decide to do so.

This is obviously discouraging to hear when laid out so plainly, but there’s something they can’t copy and is the only thing you need to be focused on.

What they can’t copy is what your company stands for.

People already perceive their company a certain way and to try and change it so that they can copy your company exactly would hardly ever makes sense.

That is your competitive edge -- your mission and what your company stands for.

Mission statements.

Mission statements are what get people invested in what you’re doing. If you can give them a reason to believe what you’re doing will change their life for the better, they’ll work with you and be understanding as you work to get there. They’ll become partners and offer ideas and feedback about what will make the product more valuable to them. This is even before you’ve built anything or when they know something is a ways off.

Missions give people something to believe in, a reason to stick around. It’s what makes you unique and competitive, not a feature set.

 

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