Beyond Convention, There is A Field
Breaking away from convention allows us to explore new paths for mutual growth and collective well-being.
In conventional business models, competition usually means a zero-sum game where one party’s gain is another’s loss. But as we move toward a healthier world, competition evolves. It becomes a force for mutual growth instead of a scramble for scarce resources. By choosing playgrounds over battlegrounds, we shift away from zero-sum thinking. This change invites us to engage in activities that benefit everyone, not just a select few.
The convention of many companies is to focus on businesses that closely resemble their own when identifying other companies in their marketplace. However, a more expansive view could offer valuable insights. There is a set of companies that includes companies that are trageting the same audience or resources. For example, it’s not just Amazon Prime, Netflix and other streaming platforms vying for your time. TikTok, Twitch, and Spotify also want a share of your day.
These are the companies that, while seemingly different, vie for the same customer attention or resources as you do. But instead of viewing them as threats, see them as motivators for mutual growth. Maybe a gaming app and a podcast service are both competing, but they can also learn from each other to enhance our experiences.
But what if we move beyond the idea of competition altogether? In a world focused on collective well-being, businesses don’t have to see each other as threats. Instead, they can find ways to coexist and even collaborate. In this perspective, there’s no need to take anyone down. It’s about maximizing opportunities, not defending territory.
And then there are trailblazer companies that take customer expectations to new heights. They don’t just provide a service or product; they change how we interact with the world through experiences. Take Uber: it doesn’t just move people from place to place; it also makes real-time tracking and communication an integrated practice. When one company raises the bar, it opens the door for everyone to explore new paths.
In this kinder landscape, competition becomes a tool for everyone’s benefit. It pushes each player to up their game, which in turn, enriches the whole ecosystem. It’s competition without malice, a communal race towards a healthy world where the real prize is shared progress and wellbeing for all.
So, instead of focusing narrowly on who might be sneaking up behind you, consider a wider landscape. Look for opportunities to learn and grow, not just to defend your position. This proactive mindset will likely be more the convention in the emerging world, where the emphasis is on shared purpose rather than zero-sum competition.
To move beyond convention, we question the “why” behind established practices. Are they still serving collective well-being?
“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.” —James T. Kirk, Star Trek