Learnings from one of your favorite condiments
This weekend my daughter and I watched a video about how mayonnaise is made. I love these videos. It’s underappreciated how much innovation and work goes into making products we know and love with consistent quality at affordable prices. A simple recipe of eggs, oil, lemon, and salt does billions per year in sales!
The most interesting learning for me, however, was about a common variation of mayo we all likely know well…aioli. Aioli is (apparently) “just” mayo infused with garlic. I didn’t know this! Aioli likely generates billions per year in additional sales globally by just adding garlic. And while I personally don’t like mayo, I really like aioli…weird.
But what does garlic mayo have to do with startups?
It can be tempting for startups to “just add garlic.” This can definitely work, but in my view it’s not how we drive massive impact (and returns) with venture dollars, and the approach of just adding garlic tends to work best for incumbents with existing distribution. To win, we need to be original. Originality creates durable moats, and durable moats create venture returns.
What are you doing that’s more than “adding garlic” to whatever is already working?