As a hunter, I appreciate a buck with a large set of antlers. However, it is not the absolute size of his rack that makes him able to defend his does from his adversaries, but his relative size to the other bucks. As the saying goes, “You do not need to run faster than the bear, you just need to run faster than the next guy to avoid being eaten by the bear”. In fact, focusing on absolute values has its drawbacks, since it deflects energy away from other attributes.
A buck with huge antlers has a more difficult time trying to remain concealed from a predator, such as a hunter. Competitions often cause us to focus on absolute differences when relative difference makes the most sense. Had our buck’s antlers been just big enough to defend his interests from other bucks, he might not have drawn the attention of a hunter and lived another day. The same is true in business. You don’t have to be the best in the world to be successful; just better than the other options that your customers have. Focusing on being the absolute best at what you do adds costs that may place your product or service out of reach of your demographic sweet spot.
Has competition forced you to focus on absolute values, or are you focused on your relative value to your customer?
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