It’s generally agreed that there are only two paths to running a profitable business:
Cost leadership (being the biggest and the cheapest) and Differentiation (attracting fewer customers but at higher margins).
Which means, when a new trend or technology hits, there are two major options:
- Jumping on it quickly and eagerly and trying to be the best/fastest/most involved with the trend or tech so we can capture as much of the market as possible
- Or setting ourselves apart by not doing that and doing something we’re uniquely suited to instead, which attracts customers we’re uniquely capable of creating enormous value for
Now, the problem with Path 1, besides the never-ending hustle, is that that’s the option most people choose, and there can only be one winner.
So not only is it a constant strain, you’re inundated with competitors doing the exact same thing in the exact same way for the exact same prices (or, likely, lower).
But that is exactly what creates the possibility and practicality of Path 2: You look at what everyone else is doing and find the opportunity in the opposite. And there can be a lot of winners on this path.
Notice that there is no secret Path 3 where we ignore the new technology entirely. There is no head-in-the-sand option.
But just because we must respond to new technology, that doesn’t mean we have to be led by it, or by the crowd.
As an example, if you’re noticing your competitors churning out SEO filler content—rushing along Path 1—you don’t have to slouch toward commoditization with them.
At the most basic and immediate level, you could move your expertise up a layer in the stack, and instead of generating GPT content you could create your own sellable prompts, system messages, and grounding instructions that you can sell into the crowd, not within it.
You can demonstrate your value at a distance by showing that you’ve raised the standard above what GPT can produce, all while you help others raise their standards, too.
Not because you’ve avoided the new technology, but because you’ve sought to understand it and grow beyond it.
Take what everyone else is doing and find the thing they’re not because they can’t but you can.
Because the sign that you’re making the wrong move is that everyone else is making the same one.
But the sign that you’re making the right move is you’re responding to the same context, but in a way that only you can.
The opportunity is rarely found in the trend.
It’s found in the opposite of it.