The traditional routes don’t work for everyone. If you’re a fan of Jeopardy, you’ve probably either been cheering for or raging against Mr. Arthur Chu. Arthur is being called the Mad Genius of Jeopardy for his non-traditional and irritating clue-choosing tactics, even to the point where the show’s host was visibly annoyed as Arthur spoke over him.
Arthur, in this article from Yahoo! Finance, is noted as being totally unapologetic. I say good for him!
Arthur has employed, in his four-show-winning-streak, a tactic many of us are afraid to utilize in our day-to-day lives. He has chosen to break the traditional manner of play on he show in order to confuse his opponents and play to his strengths. He chooses his clues at random and quickly eliminates opportunities for his opponents. He gives the other players no time to win. And it’s driving Jeopardy traditionalists, and Mr. Trebek himself, insane.
However, his brilliant tactic should be employed by every small business owner today. Playing by traditions that aren’t rules allows the larger companies with the bigger budgets trample all over your company. It would be like trying to race against Michael Andretti on your first day in an Indy Car. If you want to beat the best in the game, you’ve got to change the game.
Disruption is the key to bringing yourself to the forefront of any highly competitive industry. If you follow tech news, you hear about it all the time. It’s Silicon Valley’s way of life. But it doesn’t always have to be on a grand scale. Sometimes, the way you do business, though providing the same service as your competition, is enough. The most important thing is to take a route that nobody else will expect, or know what to do with.
Apple simplified computer ownership, Wikipedia beat the encyclopedia, Ford built the assembly line, Google built the AdWords service. This is the sort of disruption you’re probably familiar with, but it isn’t the only kind. Disruption exists in a business model, and one that isn’t easily or cost-effectively duplicable by the competition. Look at the way you do business and figure out if you can disrupt, or if you’ll be disrupted.