I like shiny new objects. Pristine was birthed out of my draw to the shiniest of new objects at the time, Google Glass. Most first-time founders are drawn to shiny new objects too. As such, it’s easy for first time founders to be drawn into hot sectors that receive media attention.
First time founders should avoid shiny new objects and sectors that receive too much media attention. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s purely rational.
As investors begin to recognize a hot sector, they’ll talk with one another and with seasoned entrepreneurs who have tangential experience. The problem that first time entrepreneurs face is that seasoned entrepreneurs with 9-figure exits under their belts recognize the same patterns and have connections to the investor community. The seasoned guys will always raise more money than first timers, attract better teams, know how to achieve product/market faster, and scale faster while making fewer mistakes.
In simple terms, if it seems obvious to you, it’s obvious to someone else who can out-execute you.
So if you’re a first timer, you should avoid spaces that are getting lots of attention. As of Q4 2015, that would include spaces including drones, bitcoin, and the on-demand economy.
There are exceptions to this rule. You should ignore this rule if you have deep domain expertise in a field. For example, if you and 4 MIT buddies have been studying aerial propulsion for 5 years and have built a drone that gets 3x the length of flight of DJI, it’s worth raising VC money for.
As a first time entrepreneur, you’re better off focusing your efforts in spaces that aren’t generating too much attention. Examples in Austin include WPEngine, Aceable, and TrendKite.