• I’m not sure mediocrity or even sameness is always the opposite of differentiation. I think it might be collaboration. And I think, in some cases, differentiation might be another word for (often unnecessary) competition.

    Yes, we each have unique superpowers to contribute. But what if we used them together?

    Is competition or redundancy of effort a bigger waste of human potential?

    • Stacey: Glad to see you here. Collaboration certainly helps and extended enterprises and causes have a better time of things when they put in processes to work with more stakeholders. At the same time, without competition innovation often occurs at a lesser pace. In addition, collaboration has its own issues as based on increasingly documented difficulties with crowdsourcing. Like all things, I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between. Thanks for coming by, Stacey!

      • I guess I’m not certain that the pace of innovation should necessarily be rapid, either. We’re often so busy building/seeking the shiny, sexy, new that we disregard the truly meaningful, important, beautiful things too soon.

        Collaboration & competition certainly each have their own rewards and disadvantages – but I’d suggest differentiation (or competition) for its own sake, or even for the sake of innovation (which isn’t necessarily a good in its own right), isn’t the best reason.

        If we truly believe something new or different is necessary – to achieve truth, justice, beauty, goodness, love, whatever – our goal shouldn’t be differentiation but inspiration of a new sameness. Differentiation should be a temporary state and not one sought as a good in itself. imho.

        I’m also a profound believer that much in our world is (or was once) naturally good and beautiful, and believe too often our propensity for constantly seeking better in the end makes us miserable & unsatisfied, but no better. (As a changemaker, I’m probably more of a “return to our roots” not “be on the cutting edge”, though many might mistake me for the latter.)

        glad to be here ;) often am. unless i have a thoughtful comment that hasn’t been offered, though, i usually stay out of the fray.

  • Geoff, Good Morning, and Happy New Year
    No longer will just a blog, or a facebook fan page or even a large twitter following or any other of the tools of the day work as stand alone for social media marketing. Great, solid marketing has always captured customers, and so we shall see which social media gurus also have true marketing in their blood as those that do may well run away with the show in 2011.

    • Indeed, the rubber will hit the road sooner or later. Good points.

    • That’s a great point Eric, far too long have communications professionals been lax in really incorporating social media tools into their overall communications plan – I guess it’s just easier for some firms to charge a flat fee for setting up a blog and a Facebook page, or corporate communicators have run into the wall of the legal department time and again on what they’d be allowed to write (and that’s a whole other story).

      I hope that 2011 sees those who know how to merge SM as part of your overall PR plan get the credit they really deserve.

  • Hi Geoff, Happy new year! Thanks for a great business
    focused post with VC and compete-on-innovation perspectives. The
    focus factor is going to standout in 2011; not every platform is
    useful or strategically smart (Ferriss alludes to this). From my
    perspective, this goes for every aspect of social media marketing,
    from marketers themselves to their clients. Looking forward to see
    what rolls out in 2011! Thanks, much, Kristen

    • Yup, it’s going to be a strange year. I expect to see a fair amount of disruption in the marketplace.

  • I have a post coming up later this week that addresses something akin to this post’s point.

    While it’s true that a lot of people feel like the same information is appearing everywhere, the fact is that everyone out there has what I call a “secret sauce” element to what they’re doing, and that is where the differentiation comes from. While the content may look the same, the way it is presented, the purpose for it being presented, and how the community uses it-that all can differentiate you from the crowd, and it can point to differences between the different noisy signals you receive out there.

    It is true, though, that I think some people will be tempted in the coming months to say, “Oh, well, so and so did this and got this, so I will too.” And there lies the source of danger.

    Happy New Year, Geoff!

  • Geoff,

    You inspired me to write this post:


    • Good points, John. Doing the opposite always helps me when I get stuck. These are some good tips for NPOs that may be looking to shake it up a bit!

  • I have to go with Stacey on this one, Geoff. Differentiation just to get out should not be a goal unto itself. If something new is truly better and will truly have greater impact on social good, then by all means do something new. But otherwise, look to see who’s out there that you might work with, whose mission could be leveraged by your innovation. It’s a very crowded world out there, particularly social media. Let’s start pulling together and cutting out the redundancy that waters down our efforts.

    • While I appreciate the desire to see more teaming, I think the reality of the sector is that you have different organizations competing to achieve things. Does that mean we need all of these players? No, but it is the field, and that’s not going to change.

      And I disagree that teaming via an innovation mission will create the results we’re looking for. As I have said to Stacey in the past socialist and over regulated structures have not succeeded historically to achieve this Utopian vision. I need a more compelling argument to move towards this direction than poo-pooing competitive innovation.

  • Pingback:In 2011, Increase Your Prospects With Better Differentiation | Career Management Alliance Blog

    […] differentiated and attractive? Hard to know, right? But knowing is increasingly critical. In a sea of sameness, only the truly differentiated stand out. It’s as true of job candidates as it is of products. Of […]

Comments are closed