Leo Polovets @lpolovets General Partner @SusaVentures (seed investor in @RobinhoodApp & @Flexport). Before: @Caltech → 2nd non-founding engineer @LinkedIn → @Google → @Factual. Jul. 20, 2019 1 min read

1/ Founders often ask me how to present a competitive landscape in their pitch deck. My framework is to use a four-quadrant matrix where each of the two axes are dimensions that are key to winning in your market.

2/ Examples of good axes to use are:
- types of scaling strategies (manual vs automated, geo by geo vs nationwide, etc)
- target customer segment (consumer vs SMB vs enterprise)
- customer needs (price, speed, customizability, privacy, etc).

3/ Ideally your company stands out from all of the competitors in your matrix. For example all of your competitors do something manually, but you do it automatically. Or all of them are focused on enterprise, but you cater to SMBs.

Here's a simple example:

4/ But the axes *have* to be relevant to your business. For example, if your target market is price insensitive, then price should not be an axis. If there's no advantage to launching nationally instead of city by city, then don't focus on that in your competitive analysis.

5/ The ultimate goals of a competitive landscape slide are:
- show that you understand who your competitors are and their positioning
- demonstrate your thesis on what attributes drive success in your market
- visually show that you are focusing on a gap in the market

6/ A *bad* competitive landscape slide fails across the dimensions above:
- the slide misses key competitors
- the axes you select are irrelevant to your business
- your company occupies a crowded part of the market and lacks clear differentiation

You can follow @lpolovets.


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