It seems like every company I work with, every leader I speak to, all says the same thing – “we’re different”. This category is “unique”. Our business is “special”.

This may make people feel better. Saying their business is different suggests that their job is harder than other people’s. Or perhaps it makes them and their company appear to be better than others, since they face greater and more unique challenges. And it separates what they do from others who work in “other” types of companies, where things must be more regular and easier.

But here’s the truth – most industries share more in common than not. Most businesses must address similar challenges, similar growth curves, similar ups and downs.

This shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing. First of all, everything is hard. Creating a product or service that a customer wants and needs, developing a business around it, and building your organization and go-to-market plan to scale it. It’s all hard, no matter the category or competitive set.

Secondly, the sooner you realize you’re not “different’ or special, the quicker you stop shunning the help and input of those who haven’t plied the same waters as you, because they don’t know your industry, haven’t sold these types of products, or don’t have experience with this technology, platform, or cloud-based service. This all can be learned – what you really want is talented people who are good at working with others to solve similar problems. Find the best partners you can, period, regardless of their experience in your “unique” corner of the world.


  1. So true 🙂 It’s almost defensive. And I agree, the moment you drop that, everything gets easier

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    Ton Dobbe

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