It seems more and more startups are actually trying to solve one problem many businesses face rather then build an empire of products from day one.
If you take a look at Grasshopper Group they are actually spinning off new companies based on the concept of building tools for startups. They solved our phone problems by building grasshopper They launched chargify to solve our billing woes from a SAAS model.
I still think solving one problem lots of business face is such a great direction for a startup as they are revenue driven from day one and most likely eat their own dog food. They are taking frustrations or opportunities within the industry and building and selling a solution for a problem that exists in the market place. All while making money!
Think about all those little things you need as a business (Billing, Shipping, Time Tracking, etc.). In terms of a platform, one size almost never fits all. So targeting smaller niches or tools that are interchangeable with other platforms actually expand the pie and allows for a better approach.
An interesting spin on this concept would be AppSumo, offering deals for these types of startup products. Once you signup, you get to view some of the deals like the epic deal they offered to startup’s for sxsw. You can view past deals once you put in your email. Be sure to use the same email or you will signup multiple times.
Building a business is hard enough, but with the right tools you can build it faster, cheaper, and better then you originally thought. The more startups that leverage tools rather then building them can focus more on their OWN product and JFDI.