If you have a product in a competitive space, there are 2 “easier” ways to gain a competitive advantage.
Exceptional customer support
As businesses automate more, it pays to be a human. Many customers still prefer speaking to one. It doesn’t mean being online 24⁄7, but connecting with customers as a human could definitely be why they choose you over a competitor.
New startup? Let customers call you on the phone.
And for the ultimate support hack, fix a bug for a customer on the spot and they’ll be be loyal to you for many years.
There’s still a ton of software out there that is abominably designed. It’s not that hard to design better, simpler versions of existing solutions. Basic design is something anyone can learn, even if you think you don’t have a good eye for it.
Where to start? Read the following:
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman - One of my all-time favorite books and “The Bible” of user experience design. It’s a bit theoretical, but after reading it I promise you won’t see the world the same again.
Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug - A more practical book on UX design but a classic nonetheless
Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan and Stave Schoger - This is the best book there is on learning how to design beautiful interfaces. They offer plenty of elements and a design framework you can use.
What other “easy” competitive advantages do you think there are?