There are two types of problems, you can pursue solving, when you’re trying to build a startup:
You can go after a problem that is really obvious and outspoken. Or you can go after a problem that is non-obvious but nonetheless exists.
If you go after the first, chances are that you will be far from alone in pursuing it. Especially if the problem is big, painful, and the market opportunity is big enough. While competition is by no means bad per se, it adds another level of stress to your journey than those that are already inherently present.
If you go after the latter, you may be more alone in the space of your choice. On the other hand you might also need to spend more time and energy activating the market, as your target market will be so accustomed to nothing happening that expectations that anything will ever materially change are low.
Both choices of direction of the journey comes with opportunities and pitfalls for you. You can succeed in both – and you can fail in both. It is mainly a question about what ends up becoming the decisive factors.
What you however can always do is to make sure that you understand your market, your future customers and their pains related to the problem, before you just dive head in to create your solution.
No matter your approach it will de-risk the journey immensely for you.