The beauty of startups and new product ventures is in market opportunity. Constant changes in the wants and needs of consumers and businesses drive the need for new products and services.
An important characteristic of an entrepreneur or a leader is to sniff these opportunities and make a business out of it. Most startup cofounders and high tech leaders are good with the first part and less than 1% can do the second. It is not that they don't know how to create a business put of it, but they just run out of time.
In this age of information everywhere, all the time, to anyone who wants it, it is a very difficult to one company to think they could have an competitive advantage over others for long - whether it is some kind of proprietary info, coolest of ideas or technology advantage. In other words most competitive advantage has a shelf life and entrepreneurs and product managers would be well advised to take notice.
Here is an example. A couple of years back, a startup team known to me came up with a really cool product idea. The team was so focused on building a great product for the first beta launch, they missed deadline by several months. In those few months, their competitors caught up with them and even some of the larger competitors introduced similar features on their platform. When the startup launched the product, the ideas weren't new or fresh anymore and it was difficult to make users switch to a new platform even though the product on a feature-to-feature basis was superior.
Consumers and their needs are real. But the competitive marketplace waits for no one. Speed is the new stealth!