Why should it be 10x better?

Tech startups know that in order to challenge an existing product in the market, they need to offer something 10x better. But why 10x? Why not 2x, 3x, or even 5x better? Isn’t that sufficient reason for somebody to switch?

This points to the attachment we have towards inaction – of not changing the status quo. We are able to tolerate up to a 9x loss in performance just to do things in a manner that is comfortable to us. Despite clear benefits, cash transactions are still widespread, people still book flights using travel agents and take their marriage vows in languages that they don’t understand (Yes, this happens in most Indian weddings).

But oftentimes, this attachment to tradition can cost us dearly – like preserving the status-quo on how to fight pandemics despite models and data clearly telling us otherwise. Or like preserving the status-quo on burning fossil fuels even as the planet slowly melts down.

Do we have to wait for 10x before changing our strategies?

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