If you look at the history of outlier entrepreneurs who have built their massive software empires, you will notice a common pattern of strategy to emerge out. It all starts with finding a problem worth solving or a real pain point faced by large chunk of users. This identification of white space requires certain first principles approach towards thinking and deep insights to extrapolate the trajectory of industry.
Then it is followed by long fight to build out the initial version of the product based on your assumptions about the problem and the market. The product works just fine and by that you have successfully eliminated the first risk out of the equation - which is the risk of not being able to actually build the product you visualised.
You make the product live and think that since you have built it, then customers will come. This almost never works out. After going through the trough of depression and when you are at the verge of throwing away your product as failure, the importance of marketing, distribution and demand generation dawns upon you.
You realise, like the product, the demand has to be engineered and generated as well. Then you figure out tactics and channels through which you can peddle your product out into the market. That’s when the rubber begins to hit the road. You see early users providing feedback and then suddenly the competitive landscape comes into the picture which you never researched.
You then try to make sense of the feedback which is trickling in and then a more concise pattern begins to emerge. Some of assumptions about the product needs to be changed. You iterate on the feedback and build another version of the product. By now, your channels of distribution have also started to bring in more users.
This version of the product achieves the market fit and market starts pulling the product out of your hand. You double down on the distribution channels and improving your product. Over time you add more complementary capabilities to the product. You look back a decade later and reflect back on how you ended up building a software empire.