Differentiate yourself from the Competition
Life is about competitiveness. Life is about competition. There’s no way to avoid that and in my world one of the books that really influenced my way of thinking is “Blue Ocean Strategy”. In a very simplistic way, the thought is it’s not about doing battle and what they call the “bloody red seize” where everybody’s competing. It’s about creating the “blue ocean” which is a place where nobody is, where you can establish new parameters and new pricing structures.
One of the bellwether examples would clearly be a company like Cirque du Soleil. It wasn’t about competing with other theatres or circuses, they created something new. A new type of theatre, even, and that allowed them to charge what they wanted, as successful as it continues to be.
Not that I think every business can be a Cirque du Soleil or an Apple or whatever it might be, but I think there’s some thinking around worrying less about the competition and doing much more in terms of trying to create something unique and different that is a differentiator rather than a homogenous commodity within an industry.