be different

Be Different – Don’t March In Lockstep With Your Competitors – Blaze a New Trail or Leapfrog

Raw Transcript

Good morning.  My name’s Chris Kalaboukis and welcome to the think future podcast.  Today we’re going to talk about being different.  So over the last couple of days there have been a number of marches throughout the United States and the world against something against assumingly the presidency of Donald Trump.  But I was watching as I was watching all of these individuals marching.  I thought to myself Look at all these people marching living all these people moving in the same direction look at all these people thinking the same way it made me to think a little bit about innovation disruption moving forward.  Coming up with new different things and I thought to myself love the customers that I talk to a lot of the prospects that I talk to.  They’re all in situations or many of them are in situations where they understand that they need to innovate.  Either.  They’ve come to that understanding on their own or there’s some kind of disruptive external force which is causing them some pain and in this pain causing they’ve turned into themselves and said we really need to catch up with those guys we really need to catch up with our competitors we really need to to to get up there.  We need to get where they are.  And if you ask me that’s completely wrong thinking.  It’s completely wrong thinking to simply try and catch up to where you are because companies just like people have self-esteem issues right.  They think themselves well we’re number two we try harder.  We’re number two we’re number three we’re number four.  Whatever number we are in the space we’re made mean we may not be one number one.  But we’re in the space and we’re trying really hard.  But the question is What are you trying really hard to do.  Are they trying really hard to keep up with their competitors are they trying really hard to move from Position three to position to their position ten to position three.  Or are they doing something completely different.  See this is my argument is that a lot of times when you’re in this competitive marketplace people think that you have to go in the exact same direction as your competitors.  You have to think to yourself well I’m going to do better or I’m going to try and catch up with them.  When the reality is that you shouldn’t think be thinking about catching up with your competitors.  If you’re not in the lead already.  You should be thinking about blazing a new path you should be doing thinking about doing something completely new and different.  Now uses examples before but I think there illustrated.  Back when the Nintendo we came out just before the Nintendo we came out there was a I don’t know what you call it a processing speed war or a power war when it came to the power of the console like.  The Play Station is more powerful in the XBox than the XBox more power from the Playstation and then they just keep going back of where there was this war of power who could do better.  H.D. graphics who could do better chips who could put more.  Memory and who could put more hard drive space and who could do more and more and more and more of these technical specs.  And they completely forgot about the whole point of gaming was to have fun.  So Nintendo comes along and says you know what we’re not going to play in that we’re not going to play in that space of constantly one-upping each other with processing power or hard drive space or whatever or better graphics we’re not going to play in that space.  So we’re going to create a whole new space.  We’re going to blaze a different trail and that’s what they did with their wee moats and their motion controllers and they became incredibly successful during that time now since then they’ve had some setbacks.  But during that period.  That specific example is exactly what I’m talking about when you are in a horse race.  With all of these other horses and some of these other horses are doing better than you do you just try harder to try and catch up with the horse ahead of you or do you say you know what I’m going to I’m going to go on a completely different track.  I’m going to do something completely different and still in the end blow out my competition because I’m in playing in a completely new field.  And then the other way of thinking about it is the way mobile has leap frogged in Kenya.  So.  There’s a lot of innovation happening in the third world that can only happen in the Third World because a number of things are occurring there that didn’t happen here and one of the things that happened here was the extent of these landline networks we have tons of landline networks everywhere.  And because we have tons of landline networks everywhere.  A lot of companies spend a lot of money putting these landline networks in so they need them to have a long useful life span.  Whereas in places like Africa where they haven’t got these landline networks in then they could very easily leap to more of a wireless or.  A more of a wireless type function so.  There’s more wireless and more innovation the wireless space happening there than here because they don’t have the baggage of the landline networks and if you think about your own business in the same way.  It’s like you have some baggage that you’re carrying along with you that you’ve had for so long and you think yourself all this stuff is really valuable because it’s kept going up until now.  But the fact the matter is maybe it’s the baggage that’s holding you back.  Maybe it’s the baggage that’s keeping you from becoming what you need to be in order to succeed.  And by the same token it’s all in the mindset of how you think about it if you think about it as we have to catch up with those people we have to get to the same point they are we have to get to be number one or number two.  Then you’re thinking too small.  You have to think about what’s next.  What’s after number one.  What’s beyond them are one what is number one not doing that you could do.  It’s like having them off at the pass rate they’re going to put in a particular direction and they may have the lead but you have to say years of how do I shortcut myself to becoming the leader in a completely different space.  So don’t just go in lock step with your competitors stop comparing yourself to them in that way and blaze a completely new trail in a completely new space and who knows maybe you’ll end up being head of the game.  I mean this stuff is not new this stuff is not new.  It was even talked about in the twenty two Immutable Laws of marketing they were talking about.  Soda and talked about how R.C. Cola and Pepsi and Coke and all these things.  Once you have one or two leaders in the space.  You can’t get up there anymore.  Once you’ve got Amazon and Wal-Mart as the top two retailers in the world.  Good luck getting into the top two retailer space so it’s a step away from that don’t try and be them blaze your own trail.  Do your own thing and a lot of retailers are finding success in that space and that could be the same for everyone is like stop trying to catch up with your competitors Leap Frog them or go a different way.  That’s it for me for today.  See you next time and until then don’t forget to think future.