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Novelty vs Durability
2 min read

Novelty vs Durability

How often do we do this? We hear about a business idea and judge it from the perspective of whether it is novel or not. A major part of what we consider "innovation" tends to stem from the novelty factor, rather than utility.

And that could be a bit of a problem. Because, Novelty wears off.

If you take a B2B business for eg, it takes about 5-10 years to establish trust. If you take a B2C business, it takes 15 years and above to establish trust. And trust is synonymous with "brand".*

I am always a bit perplexed when I hear entrepreneurs talk about raising capital because they are building a brand. Truth is, no one builds a brand. You build a good product, a great distribution strategy, and package it all together in a great experience, run a great marketing campaign and deliver an end result where the customer is ecstatic about what they got for what they paid, that all that excess energy and excitement goes into raving about it.

If you deliver that excitement over and over and over again, consistently (never ever failing and if you do for reasons absolutely out of your hands, going above and beyond to rectify it, that faith is restored). You do that for 10-15 years and you get a brand. A brand is earned, never achieved cause one spent money.

At the end of the day, a brand stands for two things - reliability and peace of mind. And that is what people pay a premium for, even if it is not the bleeding edge option out there.

So in the context of a 10 to 15 year journey, you can see why novelty can backfire. You'd also want to ask yourself, will this be something that will excite you as an entrepreneur 10-15 years from now and not be bored. There is also the question as to whether what you are working on being relevant (with minor adaptations along the way) and that is one of the biggest IFs when it comes to building a venture.

What should you be building today, that will be valuable 15 years from now? How do you build that durability in? Think of the first five years to prove relevance and need and the next five to ten years to build value and brand.

There are a lot of variables in this, including whether the platform that we stand on will stay the same, improve or deteriorate. India for eg, is a country of approximately 1800$ per capita GDP. Brands really start to take off when the country crosses the $5K Per capita GDP mark (as it did in China). But the timelines as to when we would get there, are a bit uncertain. The current geopolitical situation does lead to some uncertainties as well - But that is the bet that we make.

As the saying goes, We don't skate to where the puck is, we skate to where the puck will be.

The ability to see through all the chaos, that opening to get you the homerun, and then by sheer perseverance making a dash for it, is what almost every brand that has been built shares in common.

It's durability, not novelty.

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