There is a surprising driving force behind great business ideas, and successful business strategies: Refusing to compete.
This is the theme of this TEDx talk I completed earlier in the year with TEDx Folkestone: Love your competitors: how great businesses do strategy.
Typically we’re told that competition is an integral part of business, and therefore being competitive is key to business success. However, in this talk I want to challenge this orthodoxy, drawing on examples ranging from Nokia and Southwest Airlines, to Extreme Ironing and Charles Darwin, in order to paint a new picture of how markets work. A picture where you can uncover a winning strategy by not trying to win at all.
In the talk you’ll learn that refusing to compete is about much more than simple business differentiation. It’s about choosing to be kind and generous with your competitors, stepping back, and letting them have what is theirs.
Although it seems counterintuitive, this rejection of competition can help create the ultimate competitive advantage, and leads to amazing businesses which make a real impact on the world.
Along the way I also explore:
- The human tendency to make everything competitive, including things that really shouldn’t be
- How competing with each other damages businesses, markets, and the people they serve
- Why monopolies can be good things, and how every business has the potential to hold a monopolistic position in its category
- Why market share is a bad way to measure a business success
- And the similarities markets have with natural ecosystems, and what businesses can learn from them by copying their strategies
Ultimately if I’ve done my job you should find yourself looking at the world of business through different eyes; ones that will see new opportunities that were hidden before.
Please do give it a watch – and if you feel moved to, comment, like, and share.