Crush, Or Be Crushed

Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV and VaynerMedia is a guy with big hairy audacious goals, a.k.a. BHAGs. He wants to own the New York Jets, for instance.

Naturally, Vaynerchuk likes to compete, and to use his own words, he takes the field with every intent to Crush It.

Interestingly, Jason Fried of 37 Signals, who spoke at Big Omaha this month right after Vaynerchuk, says be aware of your competition, but don’t dwell on it. Both men are correct. To be successful, you need to focus on building a company that delivers value to customers (and never lose that focus). At the same time, very few companies have a truly unique product or service offering and there’s always someone else with their foot in the door.

In the marketing services realm, there are approximately 10,000 agencies in the U.S. alone. So there’s a wealth of competition and it’s not easy to stand out in this large of a crowd, which is one reason that firms develop specialties–it shrinks the size of the pool considerably. For instance, Bonehook is a content provider and identity specialist working with businesses that offer compelling products or services. Therefore, for Bonehook to “Crush It,” we don’t need to be the best creative services provider in the land, we simply need to be the best at what we do (so our clients can consistently “Crush It”).

What’s interesting to me is how like-minded and complimentary firms can cooperate and team up to out-maneuver the competition. What’s really required today is the dual ability to cooperate and compete. No creative services firm has all the answers. Most claim they do, in person and online, but they don’t. What’s the point in pretending otherwise? Lost income is the point, but there won’t be any lost income when a firm tells the truth about their shortcomings and works to fill them by hiring contractors, and in some cases, by building out a new practice or area of expertise.

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