The Surprising Similarities Between Chrome Extensions and Startups


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 23, 2023

4 min read


The Surprising Similarities Between Chrome Extensions and Startups

When it comes to Chrome extensions and startups, there seems to be an underlying connection that goes beyond their seemingly different worlds. Looking at the statistics of Chrome extensions and the insights shared by LayerX CEO, Fukushima Yoshinori, we can draw some interesting parallels and learn valuable lessons about what it takes to succeed in both domains.

Let's start by examining the statistics of Chrome extensions. According to a study on Chrome Web Store statistics, there are a staggering 137,345 Chrome extensions and 39,263 themes, making a total of 176,608 items available for users. Out of these, only 17 extensions have been installed more than 10 million times, indicating the presence of a few dominant players in the market. On the other hand, 70% of Chrome extensions have fewer than 100 users, but collectively, they make up less than 0.1% of installs. This shows that while there are many extensions available, only a handful manage to capture a significant user base.

Interestingly, the study also reveals that 89% of one-off prices for Chrome extensions are set at $0.99. Furthermore, about 4.7% of extensions support some form of payment, with the majority being one-off purchases rather than subscriptions. In most categories, only 1-3% of extensions are paid, except for the Fun category, which stands out with 15% paid extensions. The median subscription price for paid extensions is $4.99 per month, with an average of $8.35 per month.

Now, let's shift our focus to the insights shared by LayerX CEO, Fukushima Yoshinori. He highlights the fact that startups, despite their limited resources, often manage to create better products compared to established companies. This is attributed to the "mysterious energy" and "sense of urgency" that emerges when people put their lives on the line in startups. Startups face different challenges and require unique approaches, making it difficult to rely solely on past experiences. The way marketing, sales, and product development are approached can vary significantly from one startup to another.

Fukushima emphasizes the importance of startups hitting the accelerator at an imperfect stage. He suggests creating prototypes and having users test them when the logic behind the product is not yet fully understood. By doing so, startups can receive valuable feedback from users, enabling them to identify and solve real problems. This moment, when users express how the product has made their tasks easier or solved their challenges, is critical and should be seized.

Moreover, Fukushima advises that startups should narrow down their focus within the first three to six months of launching. Those that fail to do so are at risk of losing their way and facing potential danger. He believes that the advantage startups have over large companies and experienced entrepreneurs lies in their lack of "success experiences." Unlike established companies and individuals with successful track records, startups are not bound by preconceived notions of how things should be done. This allows them to exploit the vulnerabilities of larger companies and gain a competitive edge.

When it comes to growth, Fukushima suggests that startups should prioritize two key factors: engaging with customers and eliminating distractions. By truly understanding their customers and their needs, startups can create products that address specific pain points. This customer-centric approach enables them to build a loyal customer base and refine their product offerings. Additionally, startups should focus on their core mission and eliminate any unnecessary noise or distractions that could divert their attention from what truly matters.

In conclusion, the similarities between Chrome extensions and startups are more profound than meets the eye. Both realms require a deep understanding of users, the ability to adapt to unique challenges, and the importance of hitting the accelerator at the right time. To succeed, startups should embrace imperfection, leverage their lack of success experiences, and prioritize customer engagement while staying focused on their core mission.

Actionable advice:

  • 1. Embrace imperfection and launch prototypes early on to gather user feedback and iterate quickly.
  • 2. Narrow down your focus within the first few months of launching to avoid spreading resources too thin.
  • 3. Prioritize customer engagement and eliminate distractions to stay aligned with your core mission.

Remember, the numbers and circumstances may change, but the principles behind success remain constant.

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