Kjell A. Nordström, Jonas Ridderstråle. Funky Business: Talent Makes Capital Dance

The word competition comes from Latin and literally means “seeking together” or “choosing to run in the same race”. But in an age of abundance the tracks are pretty crowded. The others are constantly stepping on your toes, pushing and elbowing you, trying to get to the customers first. So, and slightly paradoxically, the only (un)reasonable thing to do is not to compete. As soon as we start running alongside all the others, in our pursuit of marketshare, mindshare, or whatever-share, we risk ending up as one in the crowd – invisible to the customers. When we take part in the same race for top talent as all the others it is hard for people to tell the difference.

The dirty little secret of market capitalism in all its many forms is that successful companies have become so by killing the spirit of free enterprise. They have all succeeded in creating monopolies, at least for a short moment in time. Competitiveness comes about by not competing. Success arises from being different. And then being prepared to change again.

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