Answer by Jason M. Lemkin, Co-Founder/CEO, EchoSign, NanoGram Devices, on Quora,

3-6 months in nothing and irrelevant, unless your competitors already are well past traction.

All ideas are nothing-new-under-the-sun.

The real questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • Is your service 10x better than what it's fundamentally competing with? Not your new competitors, but the established services you are displacing/disrupting/enhancing?
  • Is your service sufficiently better than the new age competition, that all things being equal, users will generally choose you?
  • Is your team awesome? Is it substantially better than the competition?

3-6 years is unstoppable, by contrast. Then, give up unless you have something 10x better than the direct competition. Because the 10x bar has moved from the old services you are displacing ... to your new service / new paradigm competition.

How time matters, in SaaS at least:

Irrelevant in the beginning. Unstoppable in the end.

Should I work on a startup idea that will be 3-6 months behind my competition?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Published on: Oct 27, 2014