Have you been to Google Maps? If not, go there now. You see? They blow away Mapquest and Yahoo Maps. Today they added satellite imagery. Satellite imagery! They are bigger, easier to read, and far easier to use than Mapquest or Yahoo. How is that possible? Mapquest has a 10 year head-start on Google!
Here’s the thing: If you think your product or service is good enough, you’re doomed. If you’re the best in your field, the market leader, the head honcho – and you think no one will catch up – you’re dead wrong. Why is Google kicking everyone’s ass? Because they look at everything – every little detail – and they say “How could this be better?” I don’t think they look at how challenging something might be until after they figure out what would make that something the best it can be.
For me, that’s a big lesson to learn from. We pride ourselves on being ahead of the game in our field. On being innovative. But how hard would it really be for a competitor to steal what we do? To improve upon it? Andy Grove says that in order to succeed you have to practice self destruction. I believe him.