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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not First, and Not Third

One sentence in an article in a recent Fast Company Magazine jumped out at me over the weekend. The article was by Heath and Heath, authors of the book, "Made to Stick." The sentence was this: "We don't want to be first, but we sure as hell don't want to be third." It was quoting the philosophy of the Savings and Loans Credit Union in Adelaide, Australia. Their reasoning is to "stand back and let the first mover take the risk and grab the glory of innovation, then come in right behiond and make a copy that's crisper than the original...Don't be first. Be best."

While I do fall naturally into being a trailblazer and, in some ways, being first, I saw someone's booklet back in 1991 and crafted one of my own that was, in some ways crisper than the original. Then people wanted to know how I'd done what I'd done, so I crafted a number of ways to teach that.

You have gone on to improve upon what I've done. In many ways, you are now not first and not third. You have made a copy that's crisper than the original, being the best rather than the first. There will be people who will look at what you've done and leverage your work. That's not to say they are stealing from you as much as using your efforts as a model on which they can springboard to something better for their own purposes.

You may also recall a very successful car rental company called Avis. Their entire advertsiing campaign was built on the fact they were second, and always trying harder. Second can be a great place to thrive once you view it that way.

Until next time,
Paulette - who was actually not first and not third, this time

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