Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Striving to be unique rather than "the best"

Here's a fascinating story about a book with a radical business notion, namely that it's more important for you or your business to be unique than it is to be "The Best."

At Camp Merrowvista, where I went every summer when I was a kid, the motto was: "My own self at my very best." It came from William Danforth, founder of Ralston Purina and a great philanthropist in his day. The idea of being your best is radically different from being top dog. In this profit-driven age I think it bears repeating, if only for the people would might benefit from it.

Who was the best baseball player, Pete Rose or Reggie Jackson? If you were looking at home runs you'd say Reggie; if you were looking at base hits, you'd say Pete. But no manager in his right mind would say, "Great game, Pete, but why aren't you hitting more home runs?"

What about pop music? Is Rod Stewart the best singer of all time? There are people who say he can't sing at all. Yet if you heard three notes from him over the telephone you'd know who it was right away, and he has sold millions of records.

Here's the link: Aim to be unique, not the best - truths about competition from michael porter.