Why do people start businesses? Quite simply, because they notice a gap in the market. They find a service or product that is lacking, and they work hard to produce something better. Dissatisfaction is how we identify those market niches.
For example, Mr Cohen was appalled by the lack of options available to buy events tickets across the world, and so in 2006 he set up his own online business. Seatwave.com is now Europe’s top fan-to-fan ticket site. The company’s motive is to free events fans from the monopolistic ways of the industry giants and allow consumers themselves to control the buying and selling of tickets in a fair and secure market.
This is a perfect example of how a strong sense of dissatisfaction from one individual can revolutionise a multi million pound industry and completely change the direction of a booming market.
When Seatwave first started up, competitors were aggressive and adamant that it wouldn’t survive against the big dogs. But why were they so threatened by one small company?
Mr Cohen told the Independent that the balance between market and business can easily stagnate. This is because consumers often accept what they’re given and, because of this complacency, businesses do little to improve or expand their services.
Most people are unwilling to disrupt the status quo, but Cohen believes only the businesses benefit from this deal: they get what they want with minimum effort. The ‘big dogs’ only start to become agitated when a new and feisty competitor comes into the market. So, although Cohen’s business started out small, it was the diversion from the norm that really frightened the competitors, not the size.
Mr Cohen said:
“We need less talking and more doing. If we waited for all the lights to turn green before we proceeded we’d never get anywhere. Mike Lynch, James Dyson, Mark Zuckerberg – they didn’t wait around for someone’s approval to act – they just went and did it – it’s the only way to make it happen.”
Starting a business is no easy feat. It takes time, money and determination. But fear of failure can be counter-productive and prevent you from challenging the market.
If you’re dissatisfied with any services or products you buy – why sit back and let yourself feel dissatisfied? Why not improve it yourself? Why not start your own business? As long as you have the drive to survive in a fiercely competitive market, you should have a good chance of forcing your competitors to rethink their approaches. Start-ups release the market from unhealthy stagnation and drive progress. We all have the potential to be part of that.
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View and comment on the original Independent article.