We Love To Hate #1
It seems that every entrepreneur I meet wants their business to be number one in their industry. I get it. I want to be the biggest, baddest player in my niche too. But there is a big downside to being number one. What I am about to share may not subdue your numero uno drive, but it will better prepare you for when you achieve it.
The number one company in any niche is the company that customers love to hate.
There was a time when IBM was number one and we hated them. We loved that Microsoft, a tiny upstart, was kicking their ass. Remember IBM’s OS2? Windows destroyed it and we loved it. That was until Microsoft became number one. Then we started to hate them. We rallied for Apple to knock Microsoft off its high horse. Now we are starting to see the early signs of a building hatred for Apple. Apple is number one now, and customers will not stand for it.
King Of The Hill
Remember the children’s game king of the hill? This was where all the kids wrestled to get to the top of a dirt mound. Then once someone got up there, all guns were targeted at them. They were knocked off the top of the hill and the fight for the top spot happened again. The business world is no different. Once you are the king of the hill, everyone wants you off including your former die-hard customers.
Aspiring To Be #2
Maybe your strategy shouldn’t be to become number one. It may not only make enemies with your vendors, but your customers also. Strive to be number two, and stay there as long as you can. It will keep your customers rooting for you. It worked for Apple, until they just recently became number one. Now they are in trouble. Google was a hero, when it was #2 to Yahoo! Now Google is a big bully – the enemy – because it is #1.
If you become number one, both your vendors and (formerly) loyal customers will want to knock you down off your hill. Aspire to be #2, it has a much more fervent and supportive following.