Every entrepreneur dreams of a blue ocean, full of customers and free of competitors. You want to change the world.

Luckily, startups don’t need to change the world to make people’s lives better. I say “luckily” because startups rarely have new markets all to themselves. More often, they invade incumbents’ territories, and the incumbents will fight back. That’s a problem for startups because incumbents have all the advantages.

Incumbents have name recognition, infrastructure, reputation, staff, products and services, logistics, supply chains, contracts, capital, and more; entire functioning businesses. You must develop all of that, and it’s harder, slower, and more expensive than most people think.