Recently, an entrepreneur reached out to get some thoughts on going after two very different segments of the same market. As an example, think about a product that’s sold to one group for hundreds of dollars per year and another group for hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. My recommendation was to focus on one solution for one market.
The old adage still rings true: most startups die of indigestion, not starvation. Meaning, entrepreneurs are optimistic and eager to chase a number of opportunities, yet by going after multiple markets with multiple solutions, the chance of success goes down dramatically. Building a product that 10 customers love is incredibly difficult, so why make it twice as hard going after two markets or having two products?
Over time, most products and markets do run out of steam and it does make sense to expand. Too often, entrepreneurs give up early on a market and don’t go as deep as possible. If the market is growing double digits for the foreseeable future, it likely makes sense to stay the course. If the market changes, or there’s a new opportunity that’s at least 10x better, changing directions is an option.
Entrepreneurs should focus on one solution for one market and delight the customer.