Ethan Stock lived the Silicon Valley dream. He had recently sold his company to eBay and emanated the tanned skin and relaxed composure you’d expect of someone who just cashed a big corporate check. But as we sat across from one another in a Palo Alto coffee shop, I was surprised by what he said next. “Mediocrity is worse than failure, you know?” For seven years before the acquisition, Stock served as the founding CEO of Zvents, an online guide for local events. Though he was successful by anyone’s standards, I could tell he was a guy who, like me, had learned some hard lessons about marketplace businesses.
Month / June 2013
Startups that build a product attached to nascent behaviors have an opportunity to form habits before anyone else. First mover advantage matters. Once a habit is formed, it’s difficult to change and often provides a sustained competitive advantage.
In order to mine for yet untapped opportunities, I began to observe my own behaviors and those of people around me:
How is my daily routine different than last year?
What new behaviors have I seen amongst my social circles (online and off)?
How are “normals” engaging with technology in new ways?
Here are some of the nascent behaviors I’ve observed: