(What’s a Friday night look like for yours truly? Product/market fit with wine stains, just as you may have guessed.)
As they say, there is only one you. Whether an individual or a brand, look no further than the mirror to find your point of differentiation. Lyft has famously carved out a place for itself in an Uber-led world by accentuating its personality as a brand, and the whimsy of its drivers. Take the Lebowski Lyft being offered at Sundance right now. Ever hear of the Jabbawockeez? Would they have been as popular (a friggin standing Vegas show) without the weird name and masks? Possibly. But I doubt it. I just met with a new client that came out of my recent online freelance job site hack, and he described his reaction to my intro video as “Man, this kid is nuts…but in a good way“. I’ll take that to the bank every single day.
Do things that don’t scale. In a recent Fast Co. article, a colleague of Ron Johnson, former head of Apple’s retail ops, recounted that “in the early years, he interviewed every store manager personally because they were the ones delivering the brand“. When I signed up to design and host my website at Strikingly, the founder emailed me with his quest to meet 100 customers for coffee in 2013. And when I jumped on Treatings a while ago to find some kindred spirits for coffee time, its co-founder Hayden started a dialogue with me and we’ve shared caffeine meet-ups in person since then. Paul Graham’s advice can be a great mindset shift, particularly when you’re attempting to find product/market fit vs. rapidly growing.