I want to buy a Xerox machine from Canon

I’m continually amused by those who suggest that unless you create a startup that is #1 in its category, that it’s not worth doing. I like to point out that Canon made a lot of money selling Xerox machines. That usually drives home the point. I’m sure that the Canon salespeople did their best to call them “copy machines” but something tells me that if a customer wanted to buy a Xerox machine from Canon, the salesperson would smile and sell it.

I’m not suggesting that being 2nd (or even 3rd or 4th) is something to aspire to- quite the contrary. I expect (and we all expect) that MyPunchbowl.com will be the dominant player in online event planning. That’s our goal. However, I’m always amused by the emails that suggest that if we can’t beat the encumbent #1 then somehow we will fail. It’s simply not true.

My wife said it best this evening: if we decide to produce a new television show called “30 minutes” and it’s 1/2 as popular (and costs 1/2 as much) as “60 minutes,” is that a failure?

I don’t think so. (Cue ticking noises….)

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3 Responses to I want to buy a Xerox machine from Canon

  1. I think this is a point many people would like to get clarity on. If it was enforced we would have very few companies to choose from. The issue is not should you try to compete but can you find a niche where you can establish yourself first. Chick-fil-A did not go after KFC from the start. They were in business for over 15 years before they went into the chicken sandwich game.

    Your wife is light. There is nothing wrong with it IF, and that is a big IF, it makes money. A smaller enterprise can be more profitable. I can cite numerous examples but I think you know what I mean.

    There are 5.5 million companies with employees. Only 100K make up 75% of the US GDP. The rest fight for the scraps. If they do it right they can be self-sustaining. Being in the game, alive, living to see tomorrow means you are able to grab opportunities as they come. Out of the game, dead-in-the-water, BK, or otherwise addled means you don’t get to play.

    If I understood you correctly – being in the game is what it is all about. What position you play today is not as important.

    I look forward to the time I can plan a big shindig with your service.

    BTW – why is the entry font so small?

  2. mdouglas says:

    Roger,
    Yes– I agree. It is about being in the game. However, I would argue that unless you are one of the key players in the game than it probably is not financially worthwhile to invest money into the venture. I think Jack Welch’s philosophy of having a reasonable expectation that you could be #1 or #2 in your category is the correct sentiment.
    Check the text size on your browser if you want the font to be bigger. I checked in WordPress, and I don’t see any way to make it larger. Thanks for writing.

  3. mohammad says:

    i want to buy a xerox machine of canon which is ultimately powerfull… .

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