Startups: Don’t Disrupt Your Industry, Serve It

Startups: Don’t Disrupt Your Industry, Serve It

Advice on why industry disruption shouldn't be the goal of new businesses. Instead, here is how to find market opportunities and forge a startup to serve its chosen industry.

As technology innovations continue to transform entire industries across the business world, many new startups hope to cause their own disruptions. However, since most of these fledgling companies fail without making any kind of meaningful impact, disrupt really isn’t the most appropriate word to use in this scenario. In fact, this approach likely makes it harder for those new organizations to succeed at all.

The few outlier companies that have truly disrupted entire industries get the most attention and become what every new business strives for. But the truth is these one-in-a-million businesses aren’t a realistic or even sensible model to strive for.

Instead, take the attitude that your new business hopes to serve the industry in which it operates. In the end, you build more value after identifying the certain pain points and difficulties within a business sector and solving these issues with an innovative solution.

So let’s look more closely at forging a startup to transform its chosen industry. We also offer advice on finding the market opportunities where this new business is able to truly make a difference. In the end, taking this attitude gives your emerging company the best chance at meaningful success. 

Why Industry Disruption is the Wrong Goal For a Startup 

As noted earlier, a startup focused on being disruptive simply misses the point of becoming a successful business. This attitude only inspires a negative connotation more focused inwards, as opposed to building an organization aimed at providing an entire industry with transformational innovations. Instead, an approach fostering teamwork and collaboration remains the hallmarks of the modern technology world.

Of course, when attempting to change an industry, the leaders of a startup need the relevant business domain knowledge. It many cases, they simply lack the necessary business acumen to understand their chosen niche as well as the underlying problems their business hopes to solve. So it’s not surprising that most of these self-styled disruptive startups simply fail. 

It’s one thing to boast exceptional technical ability and insights, but strong business sense, especially in your chosen niche, combined with a positive attitude ultimately makes a critical difference. So let’s analyze why serving and supporting an industry remains the wiser choice for any startup organization.

Forging a Startup Business to Serve Your Chosen Industry Niche

Instead of being disruptive, any startup working within a specific industry must focus on becoming experts. Attaining this goal requires open-mindedness as well as partnering with business domain experts who truly understand the specific pain points currently hampering their niche. Alternatively, working as a consultant also provides the required knowledge to forge innovative product ideas that make a difference. 

In fact, we regularly talk about how forming a consultancy to serve your chosen niche offers many significant benefits. Obviously, one advantage is a digital consultancy provides a critical source of revenue without relying on venture capital firms. At the same time, this approach also lets your business embark on a pathway towards gaining expertise and building trust. 

If starting a digital agency seems too daunting at first, consider working as a consultant in your chosen industry. This approach gives you direct exposure to the niche as well as its current inefficiencies. It provides a critical source of inspiration for new ideas and concepts to truly transform how the industry operates. You also get to meet experts with the knowledge insights to help you learn. In fact, many of these connections might make great partners for your eventual startup.

Strategies For Identifying Market Opportunities and Niches 

Our Digital Venture Studio Playbook offers entrepreneurs useful advice on a variety of topics relevant to bootstrapping a digital agency or consultancy. Section 2 provides a few tips and strategies on identifying market opportunities and industry niches for your startup to serve. Let’s summarize a few of these concepts to help you decide on an appropriate market for your business.

Not surprisingly, gaining the relevant business domain knowledge for any niche becomes easier when working in that industry, either as an employee or a consultant. As noted earlier, you gain the exposure to identify inefficient operations and other areas where technology is able to make a positive impact. Of course, if you worked many years in a certain business sector and possess an entrepreneurial spirit, your startup is already well on its way to making a positive impact. 

Of course, any industry outsider working as a consultant offers a unique and fresh perspective; one uninfluenced by bias or an affinity to legacy processes with which they worked over time. In fact, a startup organization combining both perspectives boasts a more complete view of industry operations. Keep this in mind when choosing partners for your own business. 

If you have a great idea for a digital product able to make a significant impact in the business world, reach out to the team at NineTwoThree. We provide the technical skills and industry domain knowledge to help transform your idea into a successful new business. Connect with us to discuss your ideas and learn how we can make a difference together. 


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