📂 Great markets are forgiving of subpar products (and bad markets starve great products)

Today's newsletter is proudly supported by ReactSquad 🎉

I decided to partner with ReactSquad after experiencing first-hand how hard it was to hire a reliable engineer without paying Silicon Valley salary rates. It's the only developer matchmaking service for SaaS startups focused on vetted engineers who focus on React & Node.js. All you have to do is tell them about who you're looking for, they'll find a match within 24 hours, interview your match, and then start your 7-day free trial. There's no minimum commitment and if you're not happy, they'll find a replacement for free. Make sure to mention "Corey" or "Swipe Files."

📖 The following is an excerpt from my work-in-progress book, Founding Marketing. It's a (very) rough draft of thoughts, notes, and research... so feel free to reply with your feedback on what I should expand more on and what needs to be clarified. Enjoy!

Demonstrated demand

Are a considerable amount of people paying money for a product like yours?

Your end goal should be to be able to specifically target a market with a dollar amount tied to it, even if it’s an estimate.

This way, you’ll have concrete evidence of “demonstrated demand’ — proof that there is a market for a product like yours and that it can sustain a business like yours and the growth you want to see.

A market is a group of people who will not only use your product, but will also pay. And how much will they pay?

It’s key to look for buying behaviors. Things that stand out and tell you if there is a group of people who will buy your product and spend money on it.

A couple of the key questions we’ll ask in customer research is “What have you been doing about this?” and “What happens if you don’t find a solution?”

If no one is doing anything about their problem. If there are no complaints. No consequences. No pain. Then there likely isn’t a market.

In the example of Gumroad, people were coding up their own digital e-commerce solutions or paying people to develop them for them. They were hacking together different tools. They were finding a way to make it work, though not optimal or perfect.

In the early 2000s, people were downloading music onto their phones and finding ways to access the internet. Then there was the palm pilot. And then the iPhone — the iPod/phone/internet browser.

As Justin Jackson, founder of Transistor, likes to say, “It’s a lot easier selling ice cream on a hot day at the beach.”

When Derrick Reimer built Level, an alternative to Slack, he started asking new users what they were doing to reduce the noise in Slack and found that Slack customers just weren’t dying for a new solution. Were they googling for Slack alternatives? Did they look in the Slack settings? Did they try to find extensions or bots to help? Did they try to build their own? Nope. Red flags.

New categories vs old categories

Let’s not forget the age-old market dynamics of supply and demand and talk about how it applies to startups.

In this case supply is the number of companies offering a product customers want and demand is the number customers who want that type of product.

Companies in new categories are competing for the flow of new customers buying for the first time. Companies in old categories are competing for the flow of customers switching.

Capturing new demand versus old demand requires completely different strategies.

Being the “first mover” in an emerging product category is often talked about in the startup world as a massive advantage. However, it’s like having a head start in marathon. Run too fast in the beginning and you might burn out by the end and get passed up by competitors. Run too slow in the beginning and you risk competitors catching up.

There are just as many examples of first movers winning as there are losing the market.

  • Coca-Cola
  • Apple
  • Kindle — Amazon beat Barnes & Noble to the punch again with their 2007 e-reader, the Kindle. Barnes & Noble answered with the Nook in 2007, but it was too late. Nook peaked as a $933 million per year business, but, in 2016, they reported earnings of just $146 million.

There are no guarantees.

Think about it this way: To get to the top, you win with distribution. The best product doesn’t always win when customers aren’t aware of alternatives. But to compete against the incumbents, customers have to have a strong reason to switch against the “safe” choice, which puts a stronger emphasis on the product itself.

Trends

Technology breakthroughs, changes in regulation and legislation, and the ebbs and flows of what’s mainstream can have a massive impact on market dynamics.

—Corey

p.s. ready to take your marketing skills to the next level? Invest in a Swipe Files membership to get 4 courses on SaaS Marketing.

Swipe Files does not have sponsors. We have partners.

We partner with trusted top-tier service providers. In fact, I reached out to them — each one has been carefully selected and vetted so I have 100% confidence in recommending them to you. Doing business with them supports this newsletter. 😊

See how these services can help you grow and mention "Swipe Files" or "Corey" for special treatment:

  • Conversion Factory — My product marketing agency on a subscription to help you turn traffic into revenue.
  • ReactSquad — The only developer matchmaking service for SaaS startups focused on vetted engineers who focus on React & Node.js.
  • xFusion — Get trained, reliable, and affordable customer support reps ready to go for your business.
  • Sales.co — Cold email from idea generation to A/B testing, all you have to do is show up for the sales call.
  • Videodeck — Done-for-you video production with an expert team at an affordable price.
  • Dofollow — My go-to service for sourcing high-quality backlinks in ethical ways to help you rank higher in Google.
  • Embarque — Level up your content and SEO at an affordable price, from keyword research to content production to promotion.
  • MarketerHire — Get matched with a top-tier freelance marketer within 48 hours.

0 of 5
You're just 5 referrals away from unlocking 50% Off
Next Reward
50% Off
Share with 5 friends and become a Swipe Files member for just $249 (normally $499) or get 50% off your next year if you're already a member.
Unlocked Rewards
50% Off
Free Year
Free for Life

Older messages

📂 Why ReactSquad is a game-changer for SaaS founders

Monday, January 15, 2024

​ ​ ​ ​ Hey friends, I'm super excited to share something that has been a game-changer for me and can be for you too – my partnership with ReactSquad. I've joined them as an advisor and added

📂 The ultimate marketing hack is building a remarkable product

Monday, January 15, 2024

​ ​ Today's newsletter is proudly supported by Conversion Factory 🎉 I started Conversion Factory to help startups go from a nice-to-have to a must-have. We're the only product marketing agency

📂 Bad positioning vs bad copywriting

Friday, January 12, 2024

​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Today's newsletter is proudly supported by Conversion Factory 🎉 I started Conversion Factory to help startups go from a nice-to-have to a must-have. We're the only product marketing

📂 Going shirtless for clicks (yes, really!)

Monday, January 8, 2024

​ ​ ​ ​ Today's newsletter is proudly supported by Dofollow 🎉 In an era where content creation is easier than ever, content authority is the key to ranking high and maximizing SEO. And despite what

📂 Running a magazine ad for B2B SaaS?

Thursday, January 4, 2024

​ ​ ​ ​ Today's newsletter is proudly supported by Videodeck 🎉 One of the most common questions I've gotten in the last year is: "How do we get started with video marketing?" So I

📂 Solving the logo puzzle

Thursday, February 22, 2024

​ ​ ​ ​ Today's newsletter is proudly supported by Sales.co 🎉 Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. And there's no better way to generate results tomorrow than through email

Is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you?

Thursday, February 22, 2024

​ ​ Is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you? ​u/razorc03​ Hey friends! ​ Welcome to The Slice, a weekly curation of cool bootstrapped startups and actionable reads. We've got the fastest

The AppSumo Way (our secret handbook)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

AppSumo over 15 years has become the #1 online site for software deals. Reaching over 1 million people a month and doing nearly $100 million a year in sales. How did we get there? One of the KEY things

🗞 What's New: Saving money on X ad campaigns

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Also: Growing an agency! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

How Netflix builds a culture of excellence | Elizabeth Stone (CTO)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Listen now (74 mins) | Brought to you by: • Vanta—Automate compliance. Simplify security. • Sendbird—The (all-in-one) communications API platform for mobile apps • Explo—Embed customer-facing analytics

Reddit's unusual IPO plans; Rivian's layoffs; and Techstars backs out of Seattle, citing a lack of VC activity

Thursday, February 22, 2024

View in browser Top News On its Q4 earnings call today, Nvidia said it pulled in a stunning $22.1 billion in quarterly revenue as more and more companies use its chips for their AI models. The company

Founder CEO churn

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The rise of mental fatigue among founders, the latest on the Sequoia-Klarna saga and how TikTok cost a startup €10m View in browser Morgan Stanley flagship logo Good morning there, The last year has

4K Image Compressor, Workflow.design, Ai Keeda, BoostMark.io, WisperSEO, and more

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Collaborative agendas, notes, and tasks, all in your calendar BetaList BetaList Weekly BoostMark.io Personalized browser start page UpVPN Exclusive Perk Serverless VPN on WireGuard®, Unlimited Devices,

I just found the perfect business idea

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

You've been lied to… ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

Ends soon: Say goodbye to your 9 to 5 job

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Only a few spots left... ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏