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Why mighty competition is good

Customer messaging is a crowded marketplace. Userlist operates in a cosy SaaS niche, but our product idea is neither new nor revolutionary. Do we sleep well? Should we be scared of mighty new competitors?

You'd think so.

But many things in business are counter-intuitive. Competition is actually good, and here's the reasoning:

  • Any successful competitor is going to shine extra spotlight on the need for customer messaging.
  • The industry of customer messaging lacks clarity and awareness — that will improve, too.
  • Being a well-known alternative, competition can serve as a great reference point in customer conversations, similar to how Intercom is a well-known reference point now.
  • It's much easier to sell ice cream on a busy beach.
  • More companies moving in the same direction is a good sign of a legitimate industry (something like peer validation).

In his interview back in 2016, Alex Yumashev of Jitbit gave a piece of advice that I keep quoting often. He said that if he had to start from scratch, he'd start another help desk product. Because it's a bulletproof market category.

Kevin Conti gives similar advice as he helps other founders come up with SaaS ideas.

In our case, we hope that our competitors will help make customer messaging more bulletproof, too. Remember, it's not a zero-sum game.

— Regards, Jane.

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