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Status Quo: Your Most Powerful Competitor

Don't be blinded by early adopters. You still have a lot of work to do to overcome the power of the status quo.
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Forget about the competitor who undercuts your prices and releases products more quickly. Your first, most formidable foe is the status quo, argues entrepreneur Rajesh Setty.

Status quo "is for your prospect or your target audience to do nothing or continue to do what they are doing without being touched by what you are offering," Setty, the co-founder of WittyParrot, writes on his blog. Here are three ways to move past this powerful competitor and encourage customers to get excited about what you're doing.

Don't get blinded by bias.

Your product is your creation--in a way, it's your baby. As a metaphorical parent, this bias can blind you to the truth. "You are so convinced that what you got is required by the marketplace that you simply ignore comments from those that 'don't get it,'" Setty writes. You should take a step back and separate yourself from your product and company. Will people want to change their ways to use your innovative service?

Don't confuse interest with intent.

After your friends, family, acquaintances and potential customers have vetted your prototype, you believe any smart person will want your product. But Setty calls this dangerous thinking. "Smart people are always curious and want to know what you are doing," he writes. "That in no way should be construed as they are interested in 'buying.'" Showing curiosity isn't the same as taking an action that disrupts their status quo. You still have to work for it.

Don't rely on early adopters.

Setty says that early adopters are a special breed. They are using your product because they have a special relationship with you or a particular interest in your product. Because of that, these users are more forgiving and willing to put up with bugs and glitches. "The early adopters are usually a minority," Setty writes. "Winning over them is a good start but not everything." For most potential customers, a glitch-free status quo will trump any product with even a few bugs. 

Last updated: Sep 27, 2013

WILL YAKOWICZ | Staff Writer | Reporter, Inc.com

Will Yakowicz is a staff writer for Inc. magazine. He has covered business, crime, and local politics for The Brooklyn Paper and was the editor of Park Slope Patch. He has also reported in the West Bank and Moscow for Tablet Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.




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