Hi Everyone!

Welcome back to Day 2 of the new series AskAsh on the Context Is King Website. Recently I found out that before starting WatchMojo, Ash was a columnist who gave advice on career, relationships, and much more. So in this series, I ask WatchMojo Founder and CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan about various things daily, ranging from what is going on in the news, to career advice for students and entrepreneurs.

Today, I asked Ash on competition, and how it has changed since its founding back in 2006 to today.

  1. Being in the entertainment industry for over 15 years, are there competitive advantages that still benefit WatchMojo since its founding, and are there any newer competitive advantages?

One of WatchMojo’s competitive advantages was good timing: the company launched at the same time YouTube started out. But timing is half the challenge, you have to recognize who the winners will be as not all platforms win. Betting on YouTube early was the right decision: its passionate unique users helped build the WatchMojo brand, growing awareness and goodwill. Anecdotally, he referenced early emails he would exchange with YouTube founder Steve Chen as both entrepreneurs were figuring out the right strategies and tactics.

You can watch that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKMjFJVhk7M 

  1. What strategies do you use to identify your competitors, and also because WatchMojo has expanded into more than just YouTube, are there any direct competitors for WatchMojo outside of the YouTube and Entertainment Industry?

One thing that Ash highlighted is that competition is a different thing depending on the stakeholder. As such, one of the big things he touched base on was the fact that Competition is multi-dimensional, and that the best competitors always take risks. Timing is key, but staying ahead means innovating, investing, and inventing new models, products, processes. If you can do these things, you will have a better chance of out-hustling your competitors. Other tips:

  • Don’t burn bridges: Competitors can become partners, and partners can become foes. 
  • First to market vs first to scale: you don’t need to be first, but you need to scale with a sustainable model.
  • Balancing one’s drive and competitiveness with hubris is paramount. 

You can watch his presentation on Competition Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy2iDNMKy4Y&t=1534s 

Lastly, if you want to submit questions to Ash directly, you can do so by clicking the link here: https://watchmojo.com/suggest/AskMojo%20-%20WatchMojo’s%20founder%20Ash