This post is by Jason Lemkin from SaaStr
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Time, and sometimes, talent. Yes, any top-tier Big Tech Company can clearly compete with any start-up. Be under no illusions that they can’t. They can grab 5–25 extra engineers (unlike you, the BigCos have extra, talented engineers they literally can repurpose), use your app as a framework, and copy it. Absolutely they can. The problem is:
- By the time they decide to copy you, do copy you, and launch … you are usually at least 2–3 years ahead.
- What they copy isn’t what you are building now, or planning to launch soon, but what you built 6–12 months ago. They start off way behind where you will shortly be.
- They don’t know the customers, or at least, the use case as well as you do. That also often leads to a slow start.
- If the business itself is different than their core business, they may not have the right talent internally.
- It is hard to catch-up in a niche once a start-up has achieved some escape velocity there. Already, you may have a mini-brand, and a stronger one than you realize.