Trends vs. Constants

Note to my future self…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about two ideas in the startup world that to me seem a little contradicting. On the one hand, there’s this idea that the best companies ride a massive trend. It can either be a massive shift in consumer behavior or a new platform shift that allows a new company to enter and disrupt a market. On the other hand, there’s this idea that startups should focus on the things that won’t change. Jeff Bezos is the main proponent of this idea and he argues that companies should focus on addressing customer needs that won’t change like their desire for great price, speed, and convenience.

In summary:

Focus on new underlying trends

vs.

Focus on things that won’t change

Now one might argue that both of these can co-exist. For example, Uber focused on both new underlying trends (e.g. mobile, gps, 3G/4G, etc.) and longstanding consumer desire (e.g. a fast and convenient way of hailing a taxi).

Therefore, maybe the best companies are able to do both things. The best companies are able to catch a wave that allows them to deliver a product that users have wanted all along.

Takeaway

To me this was more of a thought experiment to see how these two ideas fit together. I will write an update if I make any progress in this front.

Now back to work…