The “Blah Blah Blah on Steroids”

Great post from investor Bijan Sabet. In short, less is more:

Over the years I’ve seen pitches for YouTube on steroids, Flickr on steroids, WordPress on steroids, yahoo shopping on steroids, google search on steroids and many many more.

But here’s the thing. Steroids aren’t good for you.

The best way to deal with YouTube is Vine and Snapchat.

Flickr on steroids is a mistake. Instagram was the answer.

Less is more is a powerful notion. But it’s deeper than that. Redefining an experience in a unique way is how you beat the market leader. 

And that’s when you put a dent in the universe.

I, too, like businesses that carve out a small piece of a larger one, redefining it in the process. I heard someone recently say that the only way to kill Excel is to build something bigger and better than Excel. I disagree. The only way to kill Excel is to peel off a small part of Excel and do that better than Excel can. In the process, hypothetically, we make customers who would never use Excel use the new service. Snapchat and Instagram, for instance, peeled off a small subset of Youtube and Flickr, made those pieces better, and in the process made creators out of non-creators.

Here’s another way to think about. Every political poll conducted always queries likely voters. And in every one of those polls, any independents are trounced. But here’s the thing: if an independent wins election it is because he or she appealed to unlikely voters.

I can’t win by attracting the power users of Excel, the equivalent of die-hard Republicans and Democrats. I win by making those without allegiance — the independents — vote with their dollars for my products and services.