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Specializing and The Dip

The other day, I wrote about how small businesses must specialize to succeed on the Web. Today, I read Seth Godin say it a lot better than I did. I haven’t read The Dip yet, although I have read all of Seth’s other books. But what he is saying makes a lot of sense.

Here is an excerpt from Seth’s short post:

If you’re doing your best, only your AYSO soccer coach cares. If you’re the best in the world, the market cares. The secret, if you have limited resources (don’t we all) is to make ‘world’ small enough that you can actually accomplish that.

That’s what I was trying to say the other day.
When you compete on the Web, you find that you can reach everyone but all your competitors can, too. And switching costs are minuscule. So, if your small business has always made money because you are the only one in town, you are living off proximity, not uniqueness. On the Web, every store is equally close to your customer, so you need to find some other way to compete.
Doing what everyone else did used to work because your store was closer than the others. Now, what is your differentiator? No what are you the best at? It’s not “closest.” You need a new “est.” Cheapest? Trendiest? Fastest? What’s your “est”?

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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