Question: What does Martin Luther King, Fight Club and Nintendo have in common?
Answer: Challenge conventional wisdom.
The only thing any of them have in common is that they have nothing in common with the widely accepted norms at the time. Martin Luther King stood out for challenging the state of black civil rights, Fight Club rallied against being what society wants you to be, and Nintendo succeeded for reimagining how videogames are experienced.
In today’s hyper-cluttered world, people do not have the time to pay attention to every average joe, product, venture, company or idea. There are variations stacked on alternatives built by slight differences. Go to your local supermarket and you’ll find a hundred different soft drinks. Your nearest book store has dozens and dozens of cookbooks in stock (and hundreds more available for order). More and more products are being pumped out every day but the amount of time we have remains constant. So obviously if your offering is relatively standard with minor modifications it won’t stand out, right? Right. If it doesn’t stand out it’ll be ignored since we don’t have enough time, correct? Correct.
In that case I have another question for you:
Why do you think adding your product to the endless clutter of monotonous offerings will work?!
It seems so obvious that it won’t work yet everyday we see people putting their clutter out on top of existing clutter creating even more clutter. ‘What’s the solution then?’ I hear you ask. Here it is:
Avoid the crowds altogether.
Make a list of everything in your industry that is the norm. Something that is always done. The Standard. If you make your product following these benchmarks your product will join the crowd. That’s bad. Here’s something to think about: Take the list that you’ve made, study every point, and for your own company… do the complete opposite! Do what’s never done in your industry. To stand out from the crowd you have you avoid the crowd altogether. Create your own category.
If you don’t and you do what everyone else does, you’re invisible because you don’t stand out.
You don’t exist.