(Instead of Running Away)
by Glen Stansberry
I used to run from competition like a schoolboy runs from the playground bully.
I’ve had plenty of ideas for sites and products that I never developed because I was scared stiff of the competition. In fact, a couple of years ago I abandoned a project that was 95% completed because a huge company entered the space and was touted as the “total solution”. (It turns out that the service was mildly successful, but never gained market share or lived up to the hype.)
But instead of just finishing the 5% that was left with development, trusting in what I had built, and releasing the product anyway, I threw up the white flag. Hindsight tells me that had I actually released the website, it probably would have been pretty profitable.
Needless to say, it was a valuable lesson for me. No longer would I turn and flee at the first sign of competition. In fact, these days I’m running towards the competition.
I’m a big fan of the ethos of Saddleback Leather Company as a company who’s not afraid of their competition. Why? Because they list rival companies prominently on their site with this disclaimer:
“Do you think that our competitors would actually put a link to our website on theirs? I’m so confident that you’ll find our classic look and over-engineered durability so hard to resist that I want you to shop around. Go ahead… the more you shop, the better we look.”
Glen Stansberry writes at LifeDev, a blog that helps people make their ideas happen. You can follow him on Twitter here.