"It may get easier to have a really unique ugly sweater"
I no nothing about the field, but I suspect that widespread UVC use would rapidly lead to organisms developing resistance/tolerance to it
Answering your question of “Who else has all kinds of disadvantages against strong competitors, except focus”. Roku! Roku’s biggest competitors are Amazon, Google, and Apple yet they are still the dominant TV os in North America because they are laser focused on TV/CTV.
Your observation on Ben Thompson is great, he’s done really well and the combination of his knowledge + his access is really crystallizing the unique value that he has. Another example worth looking at (a follows a very similar path) is bill Simmons. He started out mainly focused on text (writing columns, articles) and over time transitioned into podcasting (plus an ill fated talk show attempt). I think the strategy that he adopted was very similar to what Ben Thompson is trying now