Friday, November 4, 2011

Startup opportunities in the traditional fashion business

@superzac passed on this excellent blog post explaining why "Fashion 2.0" businesses should stop trying to build the next marketing/sharing platform and instead focus on improving the traditional parts of the fashion business that have not experienced great innovation. I won't summarise the post as it's well worth a read in it's entirety.

The point I wanted to add is that many entrepreneurs with a tech background try to avoid startups with physical products because it’s outside their realm of expertise. That's potentially a mistake. The physical parts of many traditional industries, including the fashion industry haven't experienced a great deal of innovation. While it’s been a steep learning curve for us operating in this space it's been very rewarding and the fact that it's hard means we have less competition and are creating more significant barriers to entry than many purely tech businesses have.

If you're contemplating ideas for a startup don't be put off by businesses with a physical component to them. There are pros and cons to doing this but I suspect the pros will outweigh the cons with many of these ideas.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael -

    Great topic, and one near and dear to my heart. My background is firmly in online businesses, but over the past few years I was introduced to the online/offline product paradigm at MOO.COM.

    Now, as I'm trying to start my own online business that includes a manufacturing arm I find that I get the most interesting (meaning, confused) responses from people to the concept. From investors to friends, the first question is always "why bother with a physical product?"

    No doubt, it's a huge challenge for someone like me who is just learning about manufacturing products, but I'm enjoying it. And, if I can figure out an innovative approach to address some of the manufacturing hurdles, all the better!