Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nobody Needs You

You need everybody.

Your service or product is among millions of choices. You may think that you've created a revolutionary product or exceptional service, but you're wrong. Nobody needs you.

The postage stamp used to be a necessity. You needed it for all types of delivery. The internet changed that pretty quickly. The postage stamp is no longer a necessity.

The late night local news used to be a necessity. You needed it in order to catch up on global, regional, and local events. Cable TV changed that pretty quickly. The late night local news is no longer a necessity.

The normal cycle of a business goes a little something like this. It gains strength during the early stages. It begins to attract more and more customers. All of sudden, it is now dominating a market. That's when the curbs are put in place. The ambition, energy, and spirit of the start-up fades away. A new stubborn resistance to change sets in and allows another start-up to define another market. The cycle repeats itself.

A business must continually evolve in order to maintain its market share. It's a difficult proposition. The money is so good when you're on top. It's hard to mess with something that looks like it's working.

People never really needed you in the first place. You needed them and you gave them reasons to select your product or service. Those reasons have been replicated by other companies. Those reasons have been refuted by other companies. Those reasons no longer apply. You've got to give them new reasons all the time. Otherwise, you're destined to live the cycle.

Get over yourself. Nobody needs you.

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