There are two types of people in the world, foxes and hedgehogs. When these two types of people lead a business, the outcomes usually award the hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have one simple thing they do over and over, roll into a ball, and the clever foxes fail no matter how many things they do. Your business needs it's own "Hedgehog concept" to set it apart for exceptional success. Here's how to define yours.
One of our favorite books at Startup Cabin is "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins. Collins explains that the hedgehog prevails because it does one simple thing better than any other animal. While the fox is looking for new approaches and schemes to get that fat little rodent, he often ends up with spikes in his nose.
Take it into business.
They key is not doing a lot of things well, but totally owning one area because you're better than any other sucker out there. That's your space! If you want to win like a hedgehog, find that one thing you can do better than anyone else. Here is what Collins recommends for you to consider while defining your concept.
- Determine what you can be best in the world at and what you cannot be best in the world at;
- Determine what drives your economic engine; and
- Determine what you are deeply passionate about.
I'm just thinking of of a pitch I saw once where the investors, audience and event were totally lost as to what this app was because of the huge amount of stuff this guy's app did. Essentially he wanted to aggregate all your social media, calendars, Evernote and Skype into one place.
"That's mighty impressive Mr. fox."
Needless to say, it was painful to watch the poor guy try to explain why his Swiss Army knife of an app was a great thing for the world.
Do one thing better than anyone else! That's it.
If you add too much, it gets confusing. And if you make movies like this, trying to be a lot of different things once, you'll get a fantastic mess of cinema like this hilarious video from Jimmy Kimmel.
So what's your experience with foxes and hedgehogs? Tell me in the comments.