Q: What happens once you discover users?
A: The iterative nature of user discovery reveals the holes in the market for you to take advantage of.
And then you sprint.
Take PayPal for example...
PayPal was started in 1998 by a group of ambitious entrepreneurs with a lofty goal of digitizing the financial world.
Co-founder Peter Thiel said "There was this question about financial cryptography. Could you start a new currency? Could you start some new secure financial product? And so that was sort of the intellectual set of ideas that we were exploring."
PayPal got traction with an unexpected set of users.
EBay had emerged as the leading online marketplace, and PayPal simplified the transaction by facilitating the exchange of money.
However, Peter didn't love these users. As he says , "Sellers flocked to PayPal, and they caught us by surprise. Who were these users? Not the ones we imagined." Despite these users being different than they originally imagined, they listened to their users and tweaked the product accordingly.
They saw the opportunity and went for it.
Peter believes, "I do think that for a really valuable business you have at some point try to achieve escape from the competition. The benefit is that you achieve escape velocity from the black hole that is hyper competition."
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, shares a similar sentiment: "I believe that if you want your company to scale, it’s not enough to beat the competition. You have to break free of the competition altogether."