In the past I’ve had many conversations with people who tell me they couldn’t start a business because someone else was already doing the same thing.
They are afraid of the competition.
Believe it or not competition is good.
The perfect example is the company Lyft. Their competition is Uber and Taxi’s.
Did that matter to them?
Take a look at this video
Did you notice what the founder co founder John Zimmer said?
It started on his ride home from Cornell University where he saw all the empty seats in cars. There might be 8 or 10 people driving back from the University with only one or two people in a car and that gave him a light bulb moment.
He did some research and found that 96% of the time these cars were parked. Just imagine all the money being spent on gas, parking, car payments and yet most of the time they were parked!
In 2008 he left his job and along with Logan Green they started working together on the business. In 2012 (4 years later) they started Lyft with the signature pink mustache.
Today it operates in 200 cities, provides 13 million rides a month and is valued at 5.5 billion dollars!
It’s an interesting concept don’t you think? Riding in a car with strangers. Yet people embraced it. It’s like car pooling on steroids.
As a matter of fact it took off so fast that John said they had to create a waiting list.
Today about 30% of young Americans use ride sharing services and 15% of all adults do the same. That’s according to the Pew Research center.
What kind of challenges did they face? Think about the Taxi companies and how they would view them as their competition.
Talking about competition there’s Uber.
When asked about that John said Uber started first with the idea of having a private driver.
Lyft on the other hand wanted to bring down the cost of transportation and bring people together.
What I found extremely interesting was that Uber started putting up billboards to entice Lyft drivers to come to work for them! Obviously Uber was taking notice of Lyft and what it was able to accomplish.
How did John and his company react? They focused on who they are and what they do. There is a difference in the way they look at their customers. They are trying to create connections, make ride sharing fun and enjoyable.
Watch the video and you’ll be amazed to see John’s 5 year vision for his cars. It’s pretty mind blowing.
If you live in a major city no doubt your faced with traffic jams all the time.
Image a time when that won’t be an issue. Sounds futuristic but John thinks it will happen.
What do the car companies think about Lyft?
General Motors has invested 500 million dollars to develop a network of self driving cars.
What does this have to do with your business?
If John Zimmer had self limiting beliefs in what he could accomplish along with Logan Green, none of this would have happened.
He could have thought that Uber was huge and couldn’t be competed with. Then of course he could also have thought people were already using Taxi’s so why bother?
As we can see from the success of his business it was a good decision and he took what Uber was doing but changed it up.
In this video he doesn’t seem to be concerned about the competition and neither should you.
My Take Aways
You need to focus on who you are what you can deliver to make your customers experience the best possible.
Remember the good old days of the phone book?
There was a time when you had it delivered to your home. When you opened it up and looked at carpet cleaning for example, was there just one person listed?
What about dentists, doctors? None of this businesses took the approach that someone else was alread doing it and they couldn’t compete.
Of course today you can go online and “Google” Dentists, Carpet Cleaners etc. and you will still see a long list of service providers.
Find a way that you can offer and deliver your products and services in a way someone else doesn’t.
Do you see any gaps that aren’t being filled in your industry?
Keep in mind your business needs to solve a problem.
What will it be?
Leave your thoughts and comments below
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Until next time….
Be Savvy and Successful!
Toni Nelson – Marketing, Branding, Business Success Coach, Award Winning Photographer,Videographer and Author
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