“Crowded” is either really important, or unimportant 🙂
What I mean is, you do need to be 10x better than the competition at something — or else competition will eat you alive, or at least, trap you in a lower growth / high cost paradigm.
It could be brand alone that you are 10x “better at” if you are far and away #1. It could be one critical feature the other guys don’t do well. It could be a vertical specialization. It could be a different buyer. Or unique integrations. Lots of things.
Markets can seem crowded from the outside, but it may be that many of the participants don’t have a 100% direct competitor for their core use case and buyer.
By contrast, sometimes there may only be 2 players, but the products are fungible and competition is 100% and fierce.
>> My rough learning is if you hit $1m ARR growing >=10% a month, competition isn’t really hurting you, no matter how it may feel <<