I have always been a great believer in the importance of differentiation.
IMHO, it is always better to be different and a bit extreme than to be pretty good, nice but vanilla, normal, ho-hum, acceptable, or a bit better than average. I’ve felt this, I’ve known this, since day one — although it has been hard to express why in rational, logical terms. In fact, I’m not sure I know why I latched on to this core idea at such an early age, but I simply have always known, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that differentiation is critically important.
Seth Godin has put it all together in this great little presentation. Yes, I realize that this makes for three videos in a row on OptimismMan, but why re-invent the message so well put? This is well worth the time:
What I take away from this is that any optimist can succeed by targeting the bleeding edge customer. The Procter and Gambles and the Coca Colas of the world face a problem — they will always try to sell to the mainstream bulk of the market — they need big numbers (after all) to move the needle — but in the age of the internet and the fissure of television and print media, the leading edge early adopters are becoming the only segment that is truly important.
Pick your personal flavor and don’t make it vanilla. Vanilla blends with all the other vanilla out there. Be green chile + pistachio! There is so much opportunity for success — anyone with the right unique idea, belief, differentiation in their messaging, and the will for decisive action can breakthrough! Not every idea will work but you must get noticed or “very good” will fail none-the-less. Differentiation applies equally to business idea success, employment success, and social success.
I.M. Optimism Man