We the people wanted more stuff at lower prices. Anything and all of it. And the internet provided. We didn’t get flying skateboards, but we certainly did get infinite shelf space.
For the low, low price of a few Blockbuster late fees a month, Netflix has more content than you can watch in your lifetime (and no late fees).
For the low, low price of a night of songs on a jukebox, Spotify has more music than you can listen to (and you don’t have to listen to anyone else’s selections if you don’t want to).
For the low, low price of two weeks’ worth of gas, Amazon will ship nearly anything you can dream of to your door without an additional charge, and you won’t need to drive to or set foot in a store (or wait in a line).
At first glance it’s overwhelming. How do you compete with that? For starters, we don’t. Unless we are building a platform, our concerns are how to stand out on these platforms.
At second glance, the opportunity is in understanding how we’re different. Not just our products or services, but our clients / audience / team / community / scene / etc. Not everyone watches every movie on Netflix, streams every song on Spotify, or buys every item on Amazon, but someone buys nearly everything.
Serve the someones. We can’t serve everyone, and that’s where our difference lies. We have to find out who they are. Find out why they care. Make them feel at home. The shelf and the search are endless. Give them a reason to stop and say, “that’s it, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”