Wednesday, March 01, 2006

George Costanza: Business Guru

The definition of insanity, we've often heard, is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. What are you doing that is significantly different than your competitors - in a way that positively impacts the customer? Is your best response in defending a particular strategy, "Everyone is doing it", or worse, "Its always been this way"?

A popular episode of the TV sitcom Seinfeld finds perennial loser George so fed up with the poor decisions he has made in his life that he spends an entire episode doing the exact opposite that he would normally do: "It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat... it's often wrong.", states George. Jerry replies: "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." In the end, George ends up dating a beautiful woman and landing a job with the New York Yankees.

Okay, so you don't trust your company with the likes of George Costanza? Then perhaps you'll listen to Dell CEO Kevin Rollins: "If we followed industry convention, we'd be in a mess. We believe that if you find something that's different from the industry norm, you'll be more successful."

Apply Apple's old advertising slogan to your own business: "Think Different."

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