Be the best.
I’ve sat through countless meetings where business people rationalize with charts and graphs.
Data that “prove” their offerings are “better” than the competition.
And not simply objectively better, based on product and service performance.
Subjectively better according to consumer survey data and third party reviews.
The funny thing is, in most cases the data does not correlate with growth and profitability.
And that’s because the marketplace is flooded with better.
Better is something that can be rationally teased apart and quickly duplicated.
Which makes better a path to lower prices and shrinking margins.
“Best” is the only path to success today.
Best is about being the best for a particular audience.
Being the best for is the only marketplace today that’s not crowded.
Because the best widen the gap by doing more and more of what their audience desires.
And less and less of everything else.
And that makes them stand out.
It makes them irreplaceable.
Consider visual-effects firm Rhythm & Hues.
They were better than others at landing the film Life of Pi.
And they were, arguably, better than others at the actual work.
The firm won the 2013 Academy Award for Best visual effects.
But they were not the best.
They were not irreplaceable.
And so, less than two weeks before receiving the Oscar, Rythm & Hues went bankrupt.
Because being better is simply not enough any longer.
Not when supply is out of control.
So you have a choice.
Hold on for dear life and wait for supply to get under control.
Or be the best.
The first choice takes nerves (and reserves).
The second takes belief.