Entrepreneurial Lessons from Indian Traffic [Too Close To Beat]

After cricket, if there is one thing that unites Indians it’s the hustle/bustle of traffic situation in the country. Leaving the traffic hustle aside, there is one observation I have with regards to traffic and real world business competition that 

You can never overtake if you are too close.

Be it a *normal* road or a highway, you can never ever overtake the vehicle in front of you if you stay too close (i.e. behind) them. You need that distance to jump past others.

India_Traffic

Examples from Technology World

Look at Yahoo, AOL and every other company who were competing in search business. Google was never ever close to what they were doing – they just jumped past everybody.

Ditto with Salesforce vs. Siebel – similar offerings, but different route. Salesforce was never too close to Siebel in its offering.

Ditto with iPhone vs. Nokia/Samsung and Motorola of the world.

When you stay close to your competition, you are essentially following the same path, and maybe same speed (a little lesser perhaps?). You probably cross the same milestones and in the hustle of driving, fail to see a different picture.

By ‘staying close’, I mean ‘similar’ offering – i.e. A copy/paste of what your competition does + a little more.

And you don’t win by being similar. You win by being different.

Call it the blue ocean strategy, but that’s what Indian traffic teaches one to be – i.e. be different to stay ahead in the curve.

And all of this assuming that you know where you are headed to.

Agree/Disagree?

[Img credit : N-O-M-A-D (via Flickr)]