Most companies just try to be better than competitors. But that means they’re playing someone else’s game by someone else’s rules – fighting for market share. In today’s winner-take-all digital economy, the company that defines and develops a new and different category dominates the category’s economics. You can name great companies that have done this: Amazon, Facebook, VMware, Airbnb, Apple. They all started as different. They all believed in something no one else could yet see.
Different wins fans, not just customers. It embeds in the biases in our brains and won’t let go. Different sticks. It outmaneuvers existing products and services by starting a new conversation. And new conversations catch the interest of analysts and media, stir chatter on social media, and get passed along in workplaces and bars.
Different lures the most imaginative talent. It creates a mission, motivating and aligning employees, partners, and community.
Good people love a good mission.