That you willingly chose to participate in a business model that doesn't have a distinct competitive advantage or introduce something entirely innovative to the marketplace is your own problem. I'll give a few examples of what I mean. 1. Rhythms NetConnections... my aunt's company. It failed because it lacked a strategic competitive advantage. It was reinventing the wheel and no one there could answer why a consumer would pay a reseller to do what an incumbent phone company, who owns the lines Rhythms leases, could do for as much or less. 2. Rap Music... heavily reliant on samples. Want to avoid having mechanical rights issues? Don't be a rap artist. Rap music has become extremely successful as a format, but it had a very challenging decade getting off the ground with the securing of mechanical rights being a major obstacle. If you do attempt to reinvent the wheel... you're going to face roadblocks no matter what. The biggest roadblock being: "Why should I buy your product over the other guys?" In the world of reinventing wheels... companies are more successful when they are reinventing something tangible... Sony, Bose, Apple, etc. However, when they invent something intangible... the question of "Why is your product better?" is so much harder to answer. The more reliant your systems are on other systems, there's no getting around to having to deal with them. However, what I would suggest, if you are interested in obtaining access to the Windows market, try presenting Microsoft with a business case to prove why your product adds value to theirs... they may offer you a huge sum of money for it, may become interested in financing part of your venture, or they may at least sign a disclosure agreement with you to help further what is a value-added strategic alliance for them and their mediocre OS. They recently pumped a buttload of new money into R&D, which to me signals the fact that they know damn well, for all their strongarming, they are about to face a storm of competition against their ridiculously clunky, obtusely unintuitive, inanimate and boring platform. On the other hand, you could just get rid of the product, and dump it on someone in exchange for enough money to go fund the R&D for a more innovative, self-contained product instead of trying to grow and fight the juggernaut on their turf, before you have too many employees and not enough of a product.. and end up having to, like Rhythms, explain to 2500 people why you're cashing in your chips at 4am and they're getting laid off. This is what happens in the business arena of intangible technologies. A guy I know started a company called Concerto Technologies... nobody I know has heard of them... But if you go to Charles Schwab & Co., you will find that BigCharts.com (which is what became of Concerto Technologies) has an exclusive contract with BigCharts.com. BigCharts became a leader in online financial charting. Concerto/BigCharts went practically nowhere, but their founder and president was smart. He sold the company to CBS Marketwatch (suckers...) for millions and he's probably retired now... at age 35.