Less as a competitive advantage: My 10 minutes at Web 2.0
I was invited to present a 10 minute “High Order Bit” at the Web 2.0 Conference. I decided to talk about the concept of less as a competitive advantage. Here’s the rough text (from memory) of my presentation.
I want to talk about the concept of less. And more specifically the idea of using less as a competitive advantage.
Conventional wisdom says to beat your competitors you need to one-up them. If they have 4 features, you need 5. Or 15. Or 25. If they’re spending X, you need to spend XX. If they have 20, you need 30.
While this strategy may still work for some, it’s expensive, resource intensive, difficult, defensive, and not very satisfying. And I don’t think it’s good for customers either. It’s a very Cold War mentality — always trying to one-up. When everyone tries to one-up, we all end up with too much. There’s already too much “more” — what we need are simple solutions to simple, common problems, not huger solutions to huger problems.
What I’d like to suggest is a different approach. Instead of one-upping, try one-downing. Instead of outdoing, try underdoing. Do less than your competitors to beat them.