It’s Not About the Product

Do you remember when the best idea you could have for a business was to build a better mousetrap? And then the world would beat a path to your door…right?

Well, I’m to say that if you do that today, you’ll be back where you started in 3 months. And the world will have moved on to the next mousetrap.

Example of better mousetrapThe reason is that anything you can design and build, can be copied, rebranded and on the shelf almost as fast as you can get your original product out the door.

Ask Apple. After releasing the iPhone to the world, China quickly unveiled the HiPhone. The iPad too followed suit. Heck, in Kunming they even copied an Apple Store so real the employees thought they were employed by Apple! (To be fair though, lately there’s reason to believe that Apple may have done some of their own copying too.)

So, if you can’t get ahead by building a better product, how does the modern business get a jump on its competition?

The answer people is…people.

More specifically, your people. The ones you pay to stand out the front of the shop, and the ones who work behind the scenes. All of them are individuals capable of greatness. None of them can really be replicated. And if you train them well, and reward them properly, I’ll bet they’d be hard to match.

I believe people are the most important part of the business. Incentivised, knowledgeable people who are a joy to deal with and are as willing to work as you are will stand out above any product your opposition can offer. Other people will talk about them, and we all know the power of referrals.

People, talking to other people, making things happen. Isn’t that what business is all about?


About Jeff Polley

I'm interested in life and making the most of it. I have a fondness for good coffee and scintillating conversation. I don't act my age. For more you can follow me on Twitter - @xmpieman
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