Conventional thinking once told us big companies eat smaller competitors for breakfast.
These days It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small… It’s the FAST that Eat the Slow!
Imagine how many more races you’d win if you had a big head start and less competition.
Think about the advantage you’d have if you were able to spot trends before the competition.
Now think about how job openings and competition relate to this mindset.
If you’re looking for a new job, the quicker an employer finds you the more likely you may get hired before your competition. If a hiring manger finds you are you are a great match, other qualified candidates may never get a call because most companies what to end a job search process as soon as possible.
So, making yourself employable quickly is an important strategy to get hired.
Consider: Red Bull. Co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz started his little-canned drink with no specific market in mind, and even with no competition in the energy drink industry, sales were slow.
Consumers could not decide if Red Bull was a sports stimulant or a soft drink.
So, Mateschitz went back to the drawing board and laser-targeted a market segment (students) and marketed to them relentlessly by sponsoring events, throwing campaigns, devotional social media challenges.
By targeting a specific market, Red Bull was able to build a following, sales sky-rocketed and growth exploded.
Red Bull is an energy drink that doesn’t do well in taste tests. Some say it’s too sweet. Its contents are not patented, and all the ingredients are listed on the outside of the silver can. Yet Red Bull has a 90% market share in 100 countries worldwide. During the past 15 years, the drink has been copied by 100 competitors, but such companies as Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch have been unable to take market share away from Red Bull. Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz says, “If we don’t create a market, it doesn’t exist.”
Key Takeaway: If you’re looking for a job in a market that has lots of competitors, you need to “niche focus” to get hired. Dig deep and find untapped needs (problems) in your market and sell what you can do to solve a company problem. Find a competitive angle and highlight it to the employer during an interview.
Consider Stripe. Stripe’s success didn’t happen overnight.
The company’s co-founders, brothers Patrick and John Collison, started the company in 2010 after dropping out of college. Flash forward to 2018 and Patrick and John Collison are two of the youngest billionaires in the world. Their company Stripe is now valued at $20 billion – 4,000 times more than what their first company had been worth.
They did it by focusing on these 3 things:
1. Solve a real problem.
2. Have a vision for the future.
3. Read books…lots of books.
When the Collisons launched their first company, Auctomatic, back in 2007, they came to an unexpected realization. They realized that the hardest part of starting an online business wasn’t coming up with an idea, or coding that idea into reality, or marketing that idea to potential customers. Instead, as John explained in an interview with Wired, “The hardest part was finding a way to accept customers’ money.” At a time when every other aspect of starting an online business had become easier, accepting payments remained complicated.
And that’s how the idea for Stripe – “a developer-focused, instant-setup payment platform that [can] scale to any size” was born.
The Collison brothers didn’t set out to revolutionize the world of online payments processing when they founded Stripe. Instead, they set out to solve the legitimate problem they faced as developers and entrepreneurs. And, as it turns out, they weren’t alone.
Fellow developers and entrepreneurs who were part of the same accelerator program were experiencing the same problem and soon began adopting Stripe in droves – and they began telling their friends about it. For the first couple of years, word of mouth among developers was the lifeblood of Stripe’s business.
Of course, that installation experience is essential to what makes Stripe such an effective product. As you read in the previous section, developers had been longing for a payments solution they could quickly and easily plug into their own products, and Stripe delivered.
Unlike its predecessor, Paypal, Stripe doesn’t insert itself into the buying process. Instead, it works behind the scenes, which means buyers never have to leave a company’s checkout page or enter some third party-branded workflow in order to complete a transaction.
When you buy something from a company via Stripe, Stripe gets out of the way and does its job in the background. It’s seamless – there are no interruptions.
Have A Vision for The Future
While their obsession with providing the best experience possible has undoubtedly helped Stripe grow into the $20 billion company it is today, the future of the company still hinges on what they do next.
The Collisions built Stripe in order to solve a problem – a problem they had experienced as developers and as entrepreneurs. But after succeeding in solving that problem, they didn’t stop working on Stripe. Instead, they continued, and still continue, to innovate, and they set their sights on solving a broader version of their original goal.
Read Books…Lots of Books
To some, reading books might seem like an odd inclusion on this list. After all, when you’re building a company or trying to get hired by a company, it’s hard to measure the impact reading a book can have on revenue growth. But for the Collison brothers, reading has been an integral part of their success from day one.
Want to get hired fast – just follow the Collison brother’s methods and employers will be calling you to help them make money, save money or solve a problem.