Jun 08, 2016
“The short road to ruin is to emulate the methods of your adversary.” - Winston Churchill.
Benchmarking. Best Practices. “Competitive Intelligence.” (often an oxymoron anyway) “Competitive Analysis.” All this will tell you where people have been and are - not where they’re going or what the next BIG thing is/will be. Plus, “industry standard” may in fact be thoroughly mediocre, not a good thing to emulate. Your customers can’t tell you the revolutionary BIG thing either - but they can (sometimes) tell you what they want - which may give you some ideas.
Of course, you can’t fly blind and you’ve got to make money now, not bank everything on some future cool idea. However, beware of blithely thinking “follow the dream, the money will come.” (Your investors won’t write checks for this.) Also avoid “analysis paralysis.” Data is great - but you’ve got to get busy…while you’re thinking, your competitors (and customers) are out there doing..
It all comes back to truly knowing your (best) customers. And that takes a lot more than collecting data points.
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