Yesterday, we watched the Patriots and Seahawks play Superbowl XLIX. Irregardless of your feelings for the outcome, a fierce competition between the best 2 teams in the NFL occurred in front of millions of people all over the world. Both sides ran as fast they could, hit as hard as they could, strategized to the best of their abilities and absolutely played until they could play no more. The result, a winner and a loser based on the number on the scoreboard at the end of the game.
We understand that the very nature of competition is opposition. There has to be both a winner and a loser. Winners are glorified and losers vilified, this is the way the world works.
Competition is a wonderful thing when applied in an appropriate manner. Sports is a great example of healthy competition. The world is entertained by professional athletes who take their respective careers to a level that most of us will never achieve. Professional athletics are driven by what is known as “The Superstar Phenomenon.” We, as a society place such a premium on entertainment that we are willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for tickets that grant us access to games. We pay for our entertainment and in the absence of competition we gain no value.
Let’s consider another approach as we apply this concept to business. We live in an incredible period of time. Never before has then been more opportunity for anyone with desire to succeed. Great ideas paired with capable know-how and practical application can and do lead to millions of dollars. There are more entrepreneurs popping up today than ever before and the driving force is competition. Today’s ideas don’t necessarily have to be innovative more so than do effective. Just because someone else has already acted upon a new idea, does not mean it can’t be pursued. I think social media is a perfect example of this reality. This is the area that I would like to address in the remainder of this post.
As the world improves so do its participants. We are smarter, faster, more productive due largely in part to technology. The more success we achieve the more we believe that “world domination” is possible. It is at this point that collaboration (rather than competition) could become so valuable…
Imagine Steve Jobs and Bill Gates working together? What about Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey? As successful as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter have been on their own…what would a collaboration of these 4 powerhouses do for the greater good? Kinda scary huh?