I wandered over to HackerNews with the intent of asking how important it was to come up with an original idea vs building on other peoples ideas and products. Sitting in the top 10 was an article by Alexander van Elsas titled Early adopters and Silicon Valley Are The Easy Way To Failure. His main points are:
- Most startups fail because they don’t solve normal people’s problems
- Instead, they get a lot of hype from within Silicon Valley, but that’s not whats really important
- When they do this they get stuck in the Silicon Valley vaccuum, so called because their product never goes mainstream
- Stay away from Silicon Valley — develop a service that has an impact on mainstream users
- If you can do that, Silicon Valley will notice
There isn’t a single mainstream user problem or value being addressed.
You are better off with early adopters that aren’t asking for cool new features, but instead tell you about their experience to try and integrate your service into their daily patterns.