September 1, 2005

News & Opinion: Unfair Advantage

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 9:30 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

"Dont leave home without it" quipped Johannes Hoesch founder of the 8020 Group. He was serious. And so are others I interviewed. Either you have it or dont show up. You cannot play tennis without a racket. You cannot win the Tour de France without a bicycle (and team, strategy, plan, deep financial backing, training, biotechnology, soul, organization culture and a lot more that adds up to an unfair advantage). Lance Armstrong gets it. He understands unfair advantage.
People who start with a dream need to respect unfair advantage. Without it the dream pops very quickly and painfully. New enterprises are deeply personal. They are packed with emotions, spiritual passions and even impact the health of the participants. The cost of na failure is very high.
With unfair advantage, the unborn baby has a chance to not only survive, but to thrive. The parents can confidently proceed to consummate and give birth, expecting to finish with a healthy infant, able to be managed into adulthood. The child can win the Grand Prix of the modern new enterprise race. The race is to dominate a new market category just like Google, Yahoo, Cisco and many before them. That produces the gorillas that become world-class brands. They go IPO in less than a decade. They create hundreds of millions of dollars of company value and rapid job growth. They are the envy of countries around the planet. Everybody wins.
And it all started with an unfair advantage. So go score your own unfair advantage. Use the score sheet in the Appendix The Power of Unfair Advantage: How to Create it, Build it and Use it to Maximum Effect.
Do you know of good ideas that started without an unfair advantage and ended up more like struggles to survive than winners who thrived? Tell me about some of them and what happened. We can all learn from the examples.