A question that worry many young entrepreneurs is whether the large and more established internet companies, such as Facebook, Google, etc., will take their ideas and compete with them in the same businesses.

Skype co-founder,  Niklas Zennström, thought, young entrepreneurs need not afraid of competing with big established company.  “Large size has its disadvantage.  These companies cannot focus on new ideas.   Because of revenue pressure, they have to focus on their core business,” said Niklas.

Although companies, such as Facebook and Google, have lots of users, usually, one brand can be associated with one idea only.  For example, Facebook is social network and Google is search engine.  “The leveraging effect is limited,” said Niklas.

History showed Niklas is right.  Although Google has its social network services, such as Blogger, it is much less successful than Facebook.  If we look at what happened in the past two decade in the tech sector, we will see the same pattern: despite Microsoft was more established, it could stop Yahoo becoming the leading online portal.  And when Google emerged, Yahoo can stopped it becoming the leading search engine, although Yahoo had much more users at that time.  And the same for Facebook – Google could not compete with it in social network.  Each new idea has its champion and the others cannot compete with it, despite being more established.

Niklas’ other words for young entrepreneurs are:

1) Think Big.

2) Do it differently – never simply copy what the others are doing

3) Try to address the pain point of consumer: if your products or services can solve an existing problems of your customers, they will certainly like it.

4) Changing environment is important – when there are changes in the environment, when the established rules are breaking down, there are more opportunities for new comers.

5) Team – pick the right team to executive the idea.  You have to play with your strength.

6) Investor – pick the right investor, too.  Find one with the same risk appetite and ambition.  Find one who work well for you.  .

By the way, Niklas has become an investor himself.  His fund, Atomico, is interested in Chinese startups with a global ambition.  For startups who wants to be invested by the seasoned entrepreneur, you can us your information and we can forward it to Niklas and his team.  Here is our email: mobinodetv AT gmail.com

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...

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  1. His spelling is fine; it's a proofread for grammar that's needed. HOWEVER, it is very clear the writer is not a native English speaker based on this site, so give him a break.Thank you Sherman, for sharing Niklas Zennstrom's advice.

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