The Competition

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It’s getting harder and harder to do this. The online world is so crowded. There is just to much competition.” This was the defeated opening monologue from the person who had hired me to help them build their business.

With which I agreed. There is a ton of competition online for almost everything. If you are now looking for an opportunity to build a business, you are looking at a very crowded market.

“If only it were a few years ago,” they said, “then I would be like Henry Ford building cars with no Chevrolet to complete against.” This sentence jarred my thinking for a moment. Did Henry Ford operate in a vacuum? Something didn’t seem right . . .

and it wasn’t.

Ford Motor Company started June 16, 1903, right in the middle of what we now call the “Progressive Era”. In that slice of history some amazing creations came about from our collective thinking, including the liquid-filled rocket, the assembly line, air conditioning, the airplane and the tractor. All of these inventions went on to revolutionize the world. And stuck right in the middle of them all was the automobile. But it didn’t happen like you think.

We often get the impression that these inventions were the brain child of a wild-eyed inventor, working in a dusty old shop. One day he emerges with a brand new thing. People come from miles around to look at it, touch it and ask tons of old-fashioned question about it.

“What in tarnation is that thing?”

“How does that doo-hickey work.”

“Tell me, in my giant cone-shaped hearing tube, what that thing does again.”

We think that people like Henry Ford won because they were first to market. But we are wrong.

In fact, a quick search on Google (who weren’t first to market) shows that there were other car manufacturers between 1896 and 1930. Here are some of them.

Abbott

Abbot-Detroit

ABC

Able

A Car Without a Name

Ace

Acme (Yes! Just like the roadrunner and coyote cartoon!)

Adams-Farwell

Adria

Aerocar

Airscoot

Airway

Ajax (It was a very clean car)

Aland

Albany

Alco

Aldo

Alena

All-Steel (Try selling that one now)

Allen

Allen Kingston

Allied

And the list goes on and on. In fact, the list is over 1800 companies long. 1800 car companies between 1896 and 1930 that were in direct competition with Ford. In which climate Henry Ford said this,

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.”

Ford was not successful because there was no competition. In fact, because there was huge competition meant that society was clamoring for what he had. Everyone wanted a horseless carriage, so everyone started building them.

And this is the climate in which we find ourselves.

Everyone wants what we have to offer. Books, courses, speakers (not the type from the back of a moving van) and communities supporting us through it all have exploded in popularity, and we can take a few different views.

We can fret about the competition, or not worry about them at all and make our own business better all the time.

Get in the game. There has never been a better time to start, or a worse time to wait.

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