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Every company should have a nemesis. You need someone to spur you on to greater innovation, service, and success. If you don’t have an enemy, get one. This is one of the tidbits of wisdom Guy Kawasaki outlines in his book How to Drive Your Competition Crazy.
In addition to Kawasaki’s solid principles, each chapter has an interview with someone demonstrating real-world success with the concepts discussed. These, combined with his other examples, validate the author’s points. Topics covered include the following:
Before you can be more successful than your enemy, you need to understand your business. Kawasaki suggests some thought-provoking questions to ask about your company and its products.
Know Thy Customer
Hit the road and “press flesh” by meeting and talking with actual customers. See how they use your product and see what challenges they are having.
Know Thy Enemy
You can’t hope to defeat your enemy unless you’ve got good intelligence on it’s every move. Study your competition and see how it operates. How would it respond to your actions? Does it even consider you competition? One of my favorite ways to “know thy enemy” is to buy and use their product.
Focus on Customers
Kawasaki provides some great examples of success by focusing on customers first. When your customers are happy, your competition doesn’t have a chance.
- Focus your efforts on a decisive point. This could be a niche market or you providing an alternative to another existing solution on the market.
- Turn your customers into an effective sales force as customer evangelists.
- Give back to society and the community.
- “Build customer allegiance early and often.”
- Exploit problems with your competition’s products to your advantage.
- Partnering with your competition is one way to eliminate it.
- Be ready to defend your new market share.
- It helps to draw outside the lines and ditch the status quo in defeating your competition. See Rules for Revolutionaries
I enjoyed this book but after having read Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start and Rules for Revolutionaries, I did see some overlap with his other volumes. Nevertheless, this is a great read on how to get under your competition’s skin by making your customer happy.
Since this is an older book you may have trouble finding a copy. Check your public library, Amazon’s used books, or a local used book store!
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