It’s hard to break out of the pack

Noted investor Chris Dixon’s recent blog post on the crunch in consumer web start-ups has gotten a lot of notice.  It’s unfortunate that so many start-ups tend to chase the same concept. That’s why, generally, Chris’s points are correct, e.g., you do need 10 million uniques to get anyone to pay attention to you.

But you don’t have to follow the pack. Find a niche segment, where your content had real value.  Don’t jump on the next popular trend, like a new app to figure out what to do tonight. Create a real new idea, and calibrate your own metrics.

“Ten million users is the new one million users.

Entrepreneurs and investors have been enamored with consumer internet startups for the last few years. But there are signs this is ending.

Some observations:

– Thousands of early-stage consumer web/mobile companies were started and funded in last 24 months.

– There are only a few dozen VCs who actively write consumer Series A checks, and those VCs will only do a few deals a year.

– Facebook’s market cap is about half of what most tech investors expected before the IPO.

– A few breakout early-stage consumer hits (Instagram, Pinterest) have reached tens of millions of users in record time.

– Internet users have tens of thousands of services/apps to choose from but limited time and attention…”

Read more here.