Software dominates an industry when it’s in high demand, solves big problems, and gets the job done extremely well. If you can nail those three points better than other options on the market, your software has a chance at dominating.
To hit these three requirements, apply the following tips to your projects going forward.
1. Enter a competitive market
Are you sticking to creating niche software to avoid entering a saturated market? If so, it sounds logical, but you can absolutely win in a saturated market. In fact, if you don’t enter a competitive market, your profit potential will be low.
Markets become saturated when a bunch of people produce products that are mostly just clones of existing products. To win in a saturated market, all you need to do is create a better product that stands out above the rest in a way that matters to the end user.
Competitive markets are full of hungry users
If you want to dominate an industry, you need the majority of that industry to use your product. You’ll find the highest number of hungry users in an existing competitive market. They already know what they want and they’re using whatever software they feel is best at the time.
In a competitive market, users are always hungry for solutions and better products. Meet their needs better than anyone else and you’ll dominate.
2. Solve major and minor user inconveniences
Existing products always have some kind of flaw, and sometimes those flaws become deal-breakers when a better product is released.
For example, for decades, business owners have been using their own servers to host company Intranets. This simple intranet software works, but getting employees to use these basic intranets is like pulling teeth.
When Happeo came out with an intranet that fully integrates with Google Workspace in the cloud — it was a no-brainer to switch. Happeo made it fun to use an intranet by creating a smooth, easy, and practical environment.
By solving problems inherent to existing intranet software on the market, Happeo also solved the biggest problem of all: low usage. Today, Happeo dominates the employee communication market because people want to use the software.
3. Don’t try to simplify your software more than necessary
If you’re trying to simplify your software into a drag-and-drop interface, pause for a moment and consider that you may not need to make it that simple.
Yes, simple software can be a good thing, but if your software is designed to perform complex functions, you can’t make it drag-and-drop. Don’t over-simplify your software by cutting necessary features your users want.
Avoid making simplicity your business model
Software doesn’t need to be easy to use to dominate an industry.
When looking for ways to create better software, avoid focusing on simplification as your sole reason for creating a project. Creating a simpler version of existing software can work if the software itself is supposed to be simple. However, if the software performs complex and advanced functions, simplifying the user experience should be just one of many improvements.
Software with a sharp learning curve will make it to the top when the value is high. For example, Infusionsoft (now Keap Max Classic) has a steep learning curve, yet facilitates high-level marketing strategies above and beyond other tools. Thus, Infusionsoft remains the top CRM software for marketers.
4. Research the market thoroughly
As a software developer, you’ll notice things that bother you about existing software that may not be important to the user base.
Make sure you conduct thorough research to find out what your market wants, what they don’t like about existing solutions, and what features they can’t live without. You don’t want to build a product that solves several key issues, yet leaves out a deal-breaker feature.
5. Set a high price point
Don’t be afraid to set a high price point for your software. People and companies will absolutely pay for services that help them do business better. If you look at some of the top software in big industries, you’ll find companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars each month just on software.
Of course, you’ll want to price your software relative to the intended industry and considering ROI. However, don’t underprice your software and don’t be afraid to price your software higher than other options on the market. If the value is there, people will happily pay for your software.
Dominate by creating a better product
Ultimately, the key to dominating any industry with software is meeting people’s needs better than other options on the market. Whether you provide better solutions, better support, or create innovative features, software dominates an industry when it’s simply a better product.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.