The default position

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing  |  Best Practices

Most people choose the easy way.

Go to a four-year college, get a job in a company, move up the ladder, retire.

Send an invite with the text: “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Book a room in the city at that big, famous chain hotel. Buy a vacation package at that well-known beach resort.

Watch the popular Oscar winning film. Buy the Grammy winning album. See the classic rock act that was popular when you were a kid.

The 3-course set menu with beef and a glass of the house red.

The software package including standard service.

What do you choose?

It is much easier to choose the default. But bigger things can come from doing the unusual and unexpected.

Start a business, find a boutique hotel in the arty part of town, see an indie band in a 250 person club, invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn by sending them a personal message recalling when you last saw them in person.

Do you choose things to enrich your life? Of course you do!

What do you deliver?

Building products around the default, the safe choice, the offering for the masses is terribly risky. It means someone else can make a similar commodity that costs just a little less or is a tiny bit faster.

But there is a sustainable business in a niche market, for the people Seth Godin calls weird, for individuals who think for themselves. A true leadership position comes from serving those who avoid the default position.

Tranquilseas, an eco-resort hotel in an out of the way place with just seven rooms can be number one selling to a niche.

GoPro, a camera for extreme action sports, can become a billion dollar company in ten years selling to a niche.

Do something that enriches other peoples’ lives and you’ll always have rewarding work.