Skedsheet Blog

Where we talk about the product, calendars, organization, and business

Dancing around the competition

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We’ve got competition.  Depending on how you look at it, lots of software, from Outlook to Oracle, could be considered a competitor, and there’s a whole universe of calendars, whiteboards, and manila folders that are probably even bigger threats.

So how do we compete?  We try not to be like the other guys.  In a world of software that’s already confusing and loaded with almost infinite features, we try to stand out by concentrating on what we do well.red tango by nettaphoto - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nettaphoto/35172868/

I was surprised by Microsoft’s attempt to take Google head-on with their Bing search engine.  Although they’ve made a business of taking on competitors directly, then marketing their products like crazy, that would never work for us.

We probably go to the other extreme – find a problem that few people are trying to solve directly, and then focus on that tiny idea.  With JobTracker, we stumbled into a niche within a niche.  Even though it’s not glamorous making scheduling software for construction subcontractors, we provide value to our customers and do it profitably.

The plan for skedsheet is to take it to the next level.  In some ways, it’s even more specific: we’re not going to bring the “whole solution” for any particular type of business.  Instead we’re just focusing on replacing any place where you use a spreadsheet along with a calendar. 

I doubt that our niche competitors are willing to go there – most of them seem to be focused on extracting higher margins from a smaller set of customers.  And, the side-effects that we’re hoping for are that we can 1) have a large set of new, happy customers in our existing market and 2) branch out beyond our niche, even if it’s in a very modest way.

We’re not going to take on anyone mano a mano, but instead, we’ll keep defining what we do well, and let other folks try to catch up.

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Written by Harry Hollander

June 10, 2009 at 5:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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