Has it become more difficult to successfully launch a new startup?

Anyone else have the view that despite what’s often published, in recent years it’s actually become more difficult to successfully launch a new startup?

Why? Because often there’s many others with a similar product/service, and so ‘getting through the noise’ is difficult.

Also relevant is that many ‘competitors’ provide their offer at pricing which is unsustainably low, hence skewing the market and effecting perception by potential/actual clients.
I’m not referring to established or well-funded businesses ‘trying to buy the market’, but relatively inexperienced newcomers who’ve perhaps believed what they read (example: build a user base by providing free stuff).


  • I agree that there are a lot more competitors now than there were in the first dot com boom. The low hanging fruit has all been picked, so now if you want to succeed your ideas have to be better and more specific.

    Also, I would stay away from areas where as a startup you would naturally be at a disadvantage compared to a large company like selling copyrighted materials such as books, music, movies, etc., since the big companies can always get better deals than you on those items and undercut you on price.

    Right now I’m working in a new area that has some competitors but my business model is different than theirs so we target slightly different customers. It’s only a matter of time though before some competitors surface; that’s the free market for you. We can’t restrict it or else we’d be no better than China. You’ve just gotta innovate and be better than your competition.

  • If others are providing a similar product or service than it isn’t exactly a NEW new startup.

    Regarding pricing, the vendor of a new product will tend to underprice it to the extent the vendor underestimates the length of the sales cycle (this is the natural bias). On the other hand, the same vendor will overprice it to the extent the vendor overestimates the value proposition to the customer. Switching costs and implementation cost are easily overlooked by the seller.

    In categories that depend upon a community, market or network, there is a Chicken and Egg problem to solve. This is usually solved by getting one subset of the market to pay for the others and/or the vendor has to underwrite the cost of community building until there’s a value within the community.

  • I think it is harder to get funding because you have to demonstrate a lot more traction than a few years ago. I agree that specific markets are easier. Lagging markets are also great because you can introduce proven tech with minimal risk.

    • I wasn’t talking about funding – although of course the situation applies to that also.

      My ‘gripe’ was about getting real ‘paying’ users.

  • I would argue no. People still have fears, doubts, needs and desires, all of which could be solved by your solution depending on what it is. Creativity, superior products and hustle still cut through all the b.s. “noise” of competition.

    • Not being constructively contentious here… ‘ superior products and hustle still cut through’… really? Ya think?

      Seriously, and constructively… I agree they do – sometimes.

      Of course that’s no different now than usually has been – there’s crap which prospers and good stuff which flounders.

      But often what get’s through nowadays does so with what could be deemed ‘stunts and shenanigans’ rather than ‘good, honest, decent’ strategy/execution… let’s rephrase that into an exaggerated example… for instance, Amazon (reputable business) wouldn’t dream of doing one of those hypey/bogus overlong single-page sales letter-type sites commonly used by some of the sleazier business types.

      But that’s a whole other subject. 😉

      I’m happy to not be anonymous, and welcome sensible contact.

  • I say, go for it anyway. Your competitors can’t be everyewere. The WEB is simply too vast. Then, of course, some “behemoth” will buy your competition….and then shut them down! That puts YOU, back in play.

    Go for it!

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