Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Imitating Market Leaders Is Dumb

For three reasons.

Firstly, following the market leader’s footsteps takes time. Once you finally surpass the frontrunner, you’ve merely caught up with a ghost.

Congratulations, your company is now as good as the chief of industry was years ago.

Secondly, what works for another may not work for you.

Nokia and Nintendo are both successful in the tech industry. The Finnish firm rolls out new hardware every month, whereas the Mario Bros. creator is still promoting its handheld from eight years ago.

Is one way better than the other? Or are we comparing apples to oranges?

Thirdly, almost all success stories exaggerate skill and underestimate luck.

An entrepreneur and a rafter do the same: avoiding calamities. But what makes the rafter different from the businessman is practice.

The master rower has dodged the dangers of the rapids hundreds if not thousands of times. Whereas the most elite entrepreneur won’t have more than a couple dozen businesses under his belt.

Steve Jobs only started one business, Apple. Hardly enough to make him an expert, yet we hail him as one of the world’s best.

Just because entrepreneurial success sounds like it can be imitated, doesn’t mean it can.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach