If you are not playing to win then you are wasting everybody's time.
In the third quarter of 2009 Google reported revenues of 5.7 billion, over three times what its nearest competitor, Yahoo, made on Search engine advertising.
This is not unusual yet we often don't expect it. We think number 1 is just edging out number two. And that they are nearly neck and neck.
Not in CRM with salesforce.com versus the world, not in ERP with SAP versus oracle vs Infor, and not with Cola where Coca Cola remains the leader with 1.5 - 2 times market share of their nearest competitors.
If the game is worth playing, and you have a realistic chance of winning, then it is your obligation to go for first place.
Many games are not worth while. A blazing entrant into the newspaper industry will be fighting with entrenched brands for a shrinking prize. Why bother...?
But if it is worth playing, and you really could win, then do not settle for second. Second is first loser.
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