You Don’t Need a Radical Business Idea to Be Successful

Firm business handshake

Have you heard before that companies that are first to market with a new product are more likely to succeed? It seems like that might not be so true after all.

Neither Facebook nor Google were first to market. Before Facebook was e.g. MySpace and before Google was e.g. AltaVista.

Higher failure rate

The thing is that being first to market has its pros and cons but it seems that the failure rate of first movers is higher than of improvers.

One study looked at over 500 brands in 50 product categories to see if being first to market was truly as good as was thought before. But according to this study, the first movers had a failure rate of 47% while those who took an idea that already existed on the market and improved it, had a failure rate of only 8%.

If you want to have your own business, it might be a smart move to not try to come up with a really radical business idea. Rather take a look at businesses that already exist and that you like, and think about how you can improve them.

Will T-shirts make you rich?

Selling T-shirts is definitely not a radical business idea. But history has shown us that people buy T-shirts, so that concept has been proven and there might be an opportunity there.

Online apparel companies can have a great growing potential. Micro-targeting through social media has made it possible to target the right people for your T-shirt design. In a Bloomberg article called How Your T-Shirt Can Make You Rich they state the following:

Kimberly Springer, a former hospital secretary, has made about $238,000 in the past year targeting Christian women with shirts that read “She is strong: Proverbs 31” and “This girl still dates her husband.”

T-shirt test

We love to try out new things, so when we saw that Adobe was selling their Stock Apparel SS16 only to enterprise customers, we thought that it could be fun to set up an online store with similar designs (so everybody could wear them). This is a clothing line created to celebrate some of the worst and most cliché stock photos.

You might for example recognize the girl on this cliché stock photo:

Stock photo girl eating a salad

This is Ariane, she is a very famous stock photo model so most likely you have seen her before pretending to wake up, running, pointing to a sign or doing yoga. Some companies have even made a rule that they will not use her on their marketing material because she is used so much in all kind of industries.

Another good example of a famous stock photo is of these elderly couple in front of a computer and smiling. You might have seen them in a meme before:

Meme: Hide The Pain Harold

Take a look at a part of the Stock Apparel SS16 collection below.

Firm handshake between business associates

Call-center woman wearing a headset

Smiling seniors using a laptop

If you are interested, you can click here to check out some of the worst and most cliché stock photos on T-shirts and sweatshirts.

If you want to know how our T-shirt business test works out, let us know and we will post an article about it :) You can also subscribe to our newsletter to hear more about this project.

Your business opportunity

What about you, what kind of business do you like and see a possibility to do things better and/or differently?

What non-radical business idea can you come up with?

About Birna Birgisdóttir

Birna Birgisdóttir is a Ph.D candidate, researching creativity and servant leadership. She enjoys learning new things and has a M.Sc. in International Business, B.Sc. in Business Administration, diploma in Human Resource Management and she is an Executive Coach as well as NLP Practitioner.

Birna loves new adventures; has travelled the world, scuba dived in Mexico, skydived in Las Vegas, surfed in Australia, meditated in India and climbed the highest peak in Iceland.

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