What makes you different?

Commonly when you release a new product, the first question you get is: Well how is this different from X? Many founders jump on the defensive, explaining how great their product is in the limited context of how it compares to X.

But your response will never sound as good. Because if the question is phrased with this “what makes you so great?” attitude, you can never prove that your product is truly better than X. The interrogator has already formed an opinion about the product, and there's little chance you'll change their worldview with a pithy marketing statement.

So how do you respond?

You explain your product's core greatness, but for everyone else in the room — largely disregarding X, and maybe with a bit of contempt for the interrogator and X. If you're going to win anyone over to your new product, you can't logically explain its differentiating factors. Many people have irrational attachments to the products they use every day, and are generally hostile towards new ideas that force them to rethink all their decisions. You have to show that your product is great on your terms and simultaneously make people question their current choices.

Remember the reason your product exists. Look to why you started it in the beginning. And don't take shit from people who say, “Well this is basically X.” It's not your fault they aren't open to new things in the world — but you do have the power to enlighten them.