Excellent article on entrepreneurship from Eric Sink.
I really like the idea that competition isn’t an automatic barrier to entry. That’s easy to remember from an economic standpoint, but very difficult to believe. When you see competition—no matter how inept—it’s hard to visualize how you’re going to bring something new to the table that the competition won’t just immediately copy.
Arnold Kling makes a similar point in Under the Radar about how upstarts usually lack the encumbrances of existing codebases and processes of an established competitor. His point is that these upstarts—flying under the radar—can do a better job at serving the customers and can often unseat the competition at its own well-established game. It’s a very good book, by the way, though it could have been half as long if he had trimmed out the repetition of his war stories.
I especially like Sink’s formulation that “The existence of a competitor indicates the existence of paying customers.”
[He also has another neat article on feature creep.]
[UPDATE: Tech Central Station also has another good article on entrepreneurship out that I forgot to link to earlier in the month.]