Whether you’re creating an innovative mobile user interface or a brand new web series, competition in the creative industry is as stiff. Time and effort alone aren’t enough to gain a real competitive advantage.
Consider some of your favorite products, as stated in entrepreneur and tech investor Peter Thiel’s Zero to One:
- PayPal is 10 times more easier to use than its closest substitute.
- Facebook is 10 times more connected than its closest substitute.
- Reddit is 10 times engaging to read than its closest substitute.
What do all of these wildly successful products have in common? Aside from having been invested in by Thiel himself, they’re all 10x better than their closest substitute in at least one category. When creating something of value that we want to be the best-in-class, whether its mobile design, or industrial design, Thiel suggests that we chase a higher standard of excellence:
“As a good rule of thumb, proprietary technology must be at least 10 times better than its closest substitute in some important dimension to lead to a real monopolistic advantage.”
This rule doesn’t have to stop at proprietary technology. For instance, do you want to be the best designer at your firm? Then be 10 times better than the others at using InDesign. Do you want your agency to be the best agency in your area? Then be 10 times better at following up with customers.
Anyone can make something marginally better. Very few can make it 10 times better.