Because the cool kids are doing it

Too many startups have that competitive matrix where they’re perched majestically up and to the right, above all other competitors, as a startup with no funding and little traction. There’s also the infamous grid where, to everyone’s surprise, you check EVERY box while others are struggling to get those coveted check marks.

The only thing these communicate is that you’re not being honest with yourself about the competitive landscape to understand the gaps to work on and exploit. Competition is a good thing and looks different from many angles, which are basically the positioning in the market.

Competition can be the signal in the market that actually validates whatever you’re going after. In this case, it’s more a question of how far along the competition is and using the market size to determine how many winners could be big enough for investors to feel significant returns. Maybe it's a big market with dinosaurs owning it that have begun decomposing into fossil fuel to run your business from. The market could have been recently disrupted with multiple early-stage companies attacking similar problems to own a piece of a massive market.

The only real concern is if 2-3 companies have already raised significant funding and are in a footrace alone to the top with market penetration. If you’re a ride sharing service going up against Uber and Lyft right now, good luck!

The competition slide, and eventual conversation, is a mental exercise to define all of this and paint a clear picture of where you stand and how you can be the/a major player. This means big enough for investors to own a very small portion of a big company.