Thursday, November 03, 2005

Change The Rules

Glen Bell changed the world. He managed a little hamburger diner before it happened. He opened a marginally successful hot dog stand before it happened. It finally happened one day. It happened because he finally figured it out. To win, you have to change the rules. You have to make new rules.

It started out as a tiny taco stand, tucked away in a bad California neighborhood. It wasn't done back then. In 1952, you either served hot dogs or hamburgers. All other food was served in full-service restaurants. No way was this going to work. Of course, it did work. Of course, we're talking about Taco Bell.

Taco Bell seems status quo today. In 1952, it was revolutionary. Customers lined up for the tacos and burritos. Glen Bell couldn't open enough locations. It didn't work because the food was superior. It didn't work because it was located in a great location. It worked because it was different. Taco Bell changed the rules.

Taco Bell spawned all sorts of alternative fast food chains. It created a new category. The food was fast, good, cheap, and way different than any other fast food restaurant in town.

Glen Bell tried to compete with the market leaders of his time and it didn't work. You can't catch a speeding bus when you're traveling at the same speed. You can either lag behind or quit chasing. Glen Bell quit chasing. He started his own race.

It takes courage, skill, hard work, and a little luck to make it happen. But, it's the only way. Quit following and start leading. Change the rules.

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