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What is Market Myopia?

In our new series of articles, we cover what early-stage founders identify and overcome when it comes to five common pain points that could derail everything around the plan. 


We researched over 1,000 financial updates seed-stage founders sent to their investors and identified the key challenges, problems, and frustrations that came up as these companies grew. Using this rich data, we developed a comprehensive guide called “The Play Bigger Founder’s Workbook,” which dives into the five most common problems these companies face, and how founders can be proactive when scaling their business.

We offer a sneak peek into what’s in the workbook below, so keep reading to get early access to the data.

Here’s what we found: 

  • 85% of founders reported a lack of customer urgency in the sales pipeline
  • 70% acknowledged losses due to the misallocation of resources
  • 95% shared difficulties in new customer acquisition
  • 80% complained of investor skepticism during fundraising periods
  • 80% identified challenges scaling their business with top talent passing on offers

FINAL myopia graph

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Think about those numbers for a moment. 70%, 80%, 85%, 95% - these are incredibly common issues and in most cases, the costs can be substantial, even existential. But what’s even more interesting, they all ladder up to a very common refrain we hear from CEOs at Play Bigger. All. The. Time. 

Why doesn’t anyone else see how big this can be? Why am I the only one to recognize the potential? Why can’t people understand my vision?

The problem, friends, usually has to do with that vision. But probably not the way you would expect. 

It’s not so much that an innovative product vision isn’t there, or that the benefits and features don’t stack up as “better” against entrenched competitors. It’s that the dynamics of the way the market is today tends to dictate the way companies think of their offering. 

They create a platform designed to solve an existing problem with the category - a problem that every competitor, including the one your customers likely pay for right now - also solves. So in that sense, THEY’VE SOLVED THE PROBLEM. And a solved problem ain’t a problem anymore. 

Which means to rip prospects away from competitors, you’re asking them to take a chance on your less proven, possibly better solution. Is it any wonder excitement in the pipeline is high, but when it comes time to do the deal, no one pulls the trigger? Or that the timing never seems right for that game-changing hire? Or that investors seem suspicious of your ability to compete? 

The truth is all of these pain points are symptoms of something bigger.

A failure to see the true opportunity in what the market could be, because you are blinded by where the market is today. Fixating on trying to solve the standard category problem better, faster or cheaper without identifying the hidden problem that people either don’t see or don’t think can be solved. 

Said another way: the current category has a blinding effect that makes seeing the future opportunity much harder. 

We call this problem market myopia

It is a macro problem made up of all of these pain points. But once it's addressed, customer and talent acquisition strategies become much clearer, sales pipelines move from mere excitement, to urgency and conversion, investors are given a clearer picture on the larger opportunity and become more willing to fund, and resource priorities become obvious.

In addition to all the research, the Founder’s Workbook also includes a market myopia self-assessment, and a series of worksheets founders can use to start to address these issues. Follow along as we deep-dive into each of the 'Market Myopia' pain points Founder's are faced with. 





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