Friday, February 9, 2007

On Me Too Startups

Dharmesh Shah over at wrote an interesting piece about "me too" companies a few days ago. Here's a link to that article here

He says: "The 'me too' label has been applied to a past when a company enters a crowded market of highly visible competitors. Examples abound, such as the remote storage category, RSS readers, online calendars, personal website creators, etc. Each of these categories at one time or another was pursued by over a dozen different companies."

So, he's taking the position that there's nothing inherently wrong with being a "me too" startup as long as you are a "me better" startup. I couldn't agree with him more.

As you'll see in the next few weeks, my second micro business could easily be categorized as a "me too" business. I would have no problem with that assessment, as it's completely accurate. I'm not worried at all and I'd like to explain why.

When I initially came up with the idea, my first thought was: "forget it, there are too many sites out there that do the same thing and I don't have the time to dedicate to trying to attract visitors."

Without completely revealing (yet) exactly what my idea is, I'd like to say that my second thought was: "who cares, there ARE tons of sites out there that do what I'm thinking of doing. I'll just be a little more imaginative about it."

You see, the hard part, the part that someone with smarts and a lot of creativity figured out has been done already. The majority of those sites out there, simply cloned the idea, quickly put up a site and got some visitors to come and enjoy themselves. I'm going to do the same thing, but I believe I'll have a different enough angle on the same core idea that it'll be worth it to visit my site rather than someone else's. Again, without giving away the farm, I'm putting together a "me too" website, but it's also going to be a "me more fun" website.

I'm not worried about competition, because the competition isn't being creative enough. They're just being fast. They took the original idea and ran with it just the way it was. They're now fighting each other for visitors when they all do the exact same thing. I'm going run with that idea too, but use my imagination.

The best part? It's not going to cost me any money (other than the hosting costs I already pay) and my time investment should be well under 30 hours.

AND, it's fun!

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