[Video] Running Towards the Competition (Instead of Running Away)

running towards competition - chess
I’ve had plenty of ideas for sites and products that I never developed because I was scared stiff of the competition.

In fact, a couple of years ago I abandoned a project that was 95% completed(!!) because a huge company entered the space and was touted as the “total solution”. (It turns out that the service was mildly successful and never gained market share or lived up to the hype. Ouch.)

But instead of just finishing the 5% that was left with development, trusting in what I had built, and releasing the product anyway, I threw up the white flag. Hindsight tells me that had I actually released the website, it probably would have been pretty profitable.

Needless to say, it was a valuable lesson for me. No longer would I turn and flee at the first sign of competition. In fact, these days I’m running towards the competition.

I’ve created a short video that kind of describes why competition is so hard, and why as entrepreneurs we tend to run away from it. I also explain my thought process now when it comes to choosing ideas to work on with respects to competition. (Hint: I don’t really worry about it.)

Running Towards the Competition (Instead of Running Away).

I reference a company called Saddleback Leather Company as a company who’s not afraid of their competition. Why? Because they list rival companies prominently on their site with this disclaimer:

Do you think that our competitors would actually put a link to our website on theirs? I’m so confident that you’ll find our classic look and over-engineered durability so hard to resist that I want you to shop around. Go ahead… the more you shop, the better we look.


A quick note: This is my first attempt. Be gentle :) I learned quickly that it’s easy to hide behind the pen, but stepping in front of a camera is a whole different skill set.

Photo by Mukumbura

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Rosa Fierro November 20, 2010, 11:46 pm

    Hello Glen,

    I liked your video! and it is great to see you so natural on the video. I agree that natural and being your self is better. About what you said, that motivates me that by doing little things will I will get the results I want. Competition is Huge, and not being afraid to taste the waters is key. Thanks for the tips and advise!


  • wilson October 23, 2010, 8:14 am

    about the competition, if you’ve ever heard Tony Hsieh he says that at zappos.com they actually send people towards their competition if they don’t have a product the customer wants. That’s a very cool way to be-friend some of that competition. Just my thoughts

  • Penelope J. October 19, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Hi Glen,
    Excellent idea. Why be afraid of competition? Good competition only spurs you on, can actually make you better at what you do?

    Your presentation was good for a first try – or 500th – just needed to be more concise, to the point, and maybe give/show a couple of examples rather than just send viewers to them.

    Keep going. You’re on to a good thing.

  • Eden October 14, 2010, 7:34 am

    I enjoyed your video and your thoughts!!! Thanks for sharing :D

    • glen October 14, 2010, 9:05 am

      Thanks Eden :)

  • Michelle Adams October 14, 2010, 4:06 am

    Hey Glen, congrats on the video. You came across very natural, very genuine. :)

    As far as competition goes…
    A good competition is what spurs me on but I do admit that if something looks really really hard to win at I won’t bother trying, I’ll rethink that next time thanks to your post.

    • glen October 14, 2010, 9:05 am

      Thanks Michelle… yeah, at least I was that! My only goal was to not be boring. I hate boring videos.

      Competition: I think there can be cases made for taking on competition just for the sake of competition. That’s bad.

      For example, I’m not going to build a Facebook competitor. That’s not competition; that’s C-R-A-Z-Y :)

    • wilson October 23, 2010, 8:12 am

      I couldn’t agree more with Michelle she’s so right. I like it when it comes across like you’re just having a conversation NOT like you scripted out or read it from something.