One of the things that I’ve come to realize is that you don’t have to compete head on with other companies or services in your space. You can provide an alternative to what other companies offer and be very successful.
Think about coffee shops. Is there room for a Starbucks, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Balzac’s and Louie’s within a 1km radius of my work? Clearly.
They all provide service to a specific niche. Starbucks serves the affluent masses who work in Liberty Village. McDonald’s is cheap coffee and a place to sit for Parkdale locals. Tim Horton’s grabs the GO Train commuters, while Louie and Balzac’s take their share of the pie by offering a local experience that is more comfortable, and less corporate.
In the domains business, some customers will want cheap prices and are willing to move around to find the least expensive option. Others want tools to purchase and manage hundreds or thousands of domain names. Still more need super high security for their important brand names. Many more will want a complete package that lets them have a domain name and make a site without having to know that much about how the web works.
At my place, we’re focused on a group of customers that want a management interface that is clean and easy to use, coupled with smart support for the times when they need help. It’s our thing. We are probably not the best choice for budget-minded consumers, people with little to no Internet knowledge, or big brands like Coca-cola or Facebook.
Are we ever going to be GoDaddy sized? No. Not ever. But that’s fine. It doesn’t mean we’re not successful.
Success for us is measured in the experience of the customers who have decided that we offer the best fit for their domain management requirements. There’s plenty of those people around for us to continue to build a great business.