Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Lie We’ve Told Ourselves

Step 1: Revolutionary idea
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Ka-ching

This dream didn’t drop out of the sky. The notion of the revolutionary idea comes from a time where a head start gave you such a huge advantage, that your rivals couldn’t dream of catching you.

Industrialists like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford were so quick to capitalise on their revolutionary ideas, that nobody could stand up against their financial might.

By the time someone else made it onto the market, the up and comer only had two choices: be bought out, or slowly starve as the market leader stole all your customers with unfair prices.

Today, ideas are a dime a dozen. And a head start is less of an advantage and more of a handicap.

With a digital library that’s 130 million times larger than the Library of Congress (the largest library in the world) and free open-source software, the cost for innovation is close to zero.

The people who invented Google, Facebook, and Yahoo were all students of engineering who launched their projects using free software found on the internet.

So capitalists can no longer burn money to ride their ideas to the top. Latecomers can copy your ideas, add a few tweaks, and shoot right by you.

So success in the marketplace is no longer about revolutionary ideas, but how you realize them.

And the best way to do that is anybody’s guess.

You can imitate the top dog, cut a few corners, and sell your product for a penny less. Or you can be better.

Perhaps you’re a grocer who actually cares about your produce. Maybe you have a diner where the waiters earn enough that they can serve customers with a smile. Perhaps every product you send comes with a handwritten thank-you card

Sure, it may cost a few extra bucks. But that doesn’t mean your profit has to be any less.

Since 2011, people have increasingly been Googling for the ‘best’ rather than ‘cheapest.’

So although price is important, it isn’t necessarily what gets you a sale. 

What gets you a sale is what you do between steps 1 and 3.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach