Monday, September 28, 2009

Define Your Own Success

Be the very best you can be, regardless of what those around you are doing.

Let's go back to 2005, when Apple had huge market share on the iPod, and nobody was even close to being able to take any substantial chunk away. The iPod mini was the most popular music player out there. How did Apple update the best-selling iPod they ever made? Add more colors? No. Extend the battery life? No. They replaced it. Apple introduced the iPod nano- a complete redesign. It was thinner than a pencil, just about a third of the size of the iPod mini and had a full-color screen. Apple didn't care what the rest of the industry was doing, they didn't care how many points of market share more than the next closest competitor they had- they continued to push themselves to be the best that they could be.

This is an invaluable lesson: be the biggest fish you can be, no matter what pond you are in. As is the case with so many things, it sounds simple but is very hard to do. It's tempting to sit back and rest, to stick with something that works and is doing well. It isn't good enough to be way better than your competitors if you know you can still do better.

Reason still applies though- just because you can do something better doesn't mean that you should put a ton of effort into doing something a tiny bit better.

In anything worthwhile, do the very best that you can, no matter what anyone around you is doing. Define your own success and live to your own standards.

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