Demystifying Startups (Part 1) - Unique is not always Better.

I conducted a webinar with National Institute of Technology, Surat to brief the students about ways of demystifying startups. This is the post summarizing what I talked about there.

“An entrepreneur isn’t someone who owns a business. It’s someone who makes things happen”

What is a startup?

It is a better product or a service

You will be pushed to build something ‘Unique’, ’Innovative’ or building something ‘Different’. If you watch videos of Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or any famous CEOs/business people they will focus on building something ‘Unique’, ‘Innovative’ or ‘Different’. 

However, one needs to realize that unique is not always better. One thing that needs to be kept in mind while building your product/service is that you are not going to build it for your investors or for people’s approval to give it a tag of being ‘Unique’ or ‘Innovative’. 

You build your product or service for Customers. Customers do not necessarily like ‘Unique’ products/services, they like ‘Better’ products/services. Customers focus on 2 main things: things that will save their Money and Time.

These are the two main things that they want to save and have more of either help them earn more money or save their money and have more time or save more time. These things can be customized based on how your product/service is and what customers expects out of it. 

It is very important to remember and that is why I see this and communicate wherever I go that

“Unique is not always Better”.

It is really important to remember that

‘Newness’ will fade away over a period of time but the fact that you are ‘Better’ always hangs around for a longer period of time.

Example: IRCTC- I am actually not sure how many of you have experienced booking tickets by going to a railway station when it is 47 degrees outside and you are in a hurry to reach home! Those were the days! “The struggle was real”. When I was in college, I had to do that. I was in 2008-2012 batch and IRCTC was new at that time. Going to the station and getting the tickets was super painful, tiresome and a frustrating job. There was a lot of uncertainty because I was not knowing whether the train is running or not, if ticket is available or not, had to stand in a long queue and Tatkal was more often than just not possible. That is when IRCTC came into picture! IRCTC made sure to make things ‘Better’. There was a major difference between the values or the efforts that you had to put in to go to a station and get the tickets versus booking it on IRCTC. In this case IRCTC helped you to save both Time and Money. Both are precious, aren’t they? This is the reason as to why we did not think about any alternative option because of the convenient facilities that it provides.

Flipkart- Was it convenient for us to think about buying a product online which has an absolute absence of touch? Some people still prefer the tangible aspect of the product before making their purchase decision but it is unarguably true that Flipkart offers the convenience of not having to go outside and check anything. Just stay at your home and order whatever you like.  So that is where a ‘Better’ product/service takes the lead and wins! If the ‘Betterness’ of that product/service is also unique then it is great. 

Unique is a necessary condition and not a sufficient condition.

If you found that this blog added value to your existing knowledge and you enjoyed reading this blog, share it with your friends and colleagues!

If you are interested to know more about other aspects that are associated with demystifying startup, stay tuned and wait for the next blog! Happy reading!

Attaching the link of the next blog:

Until next time,   



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©2021 by Yash Shah