A couple of months ago, I was out in SOHO with a couple of friends looking for a place to eat. We found a cool little place with tables outside called Burger, Co and decided to grab a burger. After a half an hour wait, we were served three square-shaped, flimsy pieces of bread and meat that neither looked nor tasted like burgers. “You’d think that in a place called Burger, Co they’d get the burgers right” one of my friends very well pointed out.
This weekend, I was trying out an online presentation software called Sliderocket. It allows companies to send out presentations by sending out a link rather than attach a 5mb PDF to an email. But after trying to upload my presentation three times, I couldn’t get it on their platform. You’d think they’d get that one right.
On the other hand, if you look at all the successful companies out there, they all do ONE thing and one thing only better than anyone else in the world. Apple does brilliant design & UI. Google does search. Square does payments. Amazon does logistics. That one thing is the company’s unfair competitive advantage. Its core talent.
Companies, as people, live and breath by their talent. Talent is what puts the company 10 billion light years ahead of its competitors. And everything else companies create has to support that talent. Apple creates beautiful products that showcase its design & UI capabilities. Google creates apps that enable people to search more. Square creates apps that make payments easy. Amazon puts its logistics machine to work by selling stuff, offline and online.
Yet the thing about talent is that it’s hard to find and even more difficult to execute on. As if that weren’t enough, it requires the team to ignore a hundred other talents that the company has or could have. But if Apple, Google, Square and Amazon are a testament to anything, it’s that focusing on the company’s core talent pays off. As long as you get it right.