Don’t believe that building a better product will make you successful. Delivering something for cheaper will. Even if that cheaper thing is lower quality. This is usually repugnant to most well-educated entrepreneurs.Ugh. Yeah, that is a bit repugnant. I want to believe that a better product will succeed, but I know that having a great product is neither necessary nor sufficient. I know this because I have seen some companies get paid for pretty poor products while companies with brilliant people and products languish. As long as a product is cheap and has the perception of filling a need (thanks to good marketing copy and/or a well-spoken champion), it has a chance to succeed.
Am I a little bitter when I see someone cash in on a crappy product? Yes, I am. I respect their chutzpah, but am disappointed in a system that can't identify, use, and reward quality.
TechCrunch says that Education Technology Startups Raised Over Half a Billion Dollars in Q1 of 2014. People are still trying to build better educational mousetraps. I respect the effort and hope the good ones succeed.
Over the last couple decades, I have worked for a handful of small companies trying to change education and/or training. Some have seen some success, while others faded away or imploded. I am quixotic enough to keep trying, but realistic enough to know that developing some amazing solution won't guarantee success.