Outthink the Competition
Outthink the Competition

Outthink the Competition

In all domains of competition—from business to sports to war—breakthrough success evolves through the same pattern. First the players fall into a routine, adopting the same practices. They are the thinkers who think inside the accepted paradigm. Then outliers, a few innovators who defy the standard practices, emerge. We will call them outthinkers, because that's what they do. Outthinkers don't outmuscle their competitors, or outspend them; they out think them. (Location 279)

chess, you must make a few strategic choices that will so disorient your competition that they will not be able to respond effectively. (Location 326)

What makes a difference and provides an advantage is doing what your competitors will not do or will not respond intelligently to. (Location 328)

Notre Dame won not by playing the game better but by playing an entirely different game, with an innovation that fatally flustered Army—the forward pass. The New York Times explained: (Location 359)

People grow rigid: they accept that a certain way of doing things (I call this the 1-2-3) is the best and stop seeking better options. (Location 396)

Someone questions what others have accepted and finds a new strategy (I call this the fourth option). (Location 399)

The new strategy proves superior. (Location 401)

The competition tries to copy it but can only do so slowly. (Location 402)

1. See where the competition has grown rigid. 2. Identify new alternatives. 3. Test and refine the new alternatives to reach one or more that are superior. 4. Slow competitive efforts to react. (Location 419)

You can work harder and move faster within the old paradigm, but this is like rowing more forcefully while your neighbor has put up a sail. (Location 427)

At the time of their founding, few experts thought that Walmart, Microsoft, IBM, Southwest Airlines, or Dell would succeed, let alone have such a transformative impact on their industries. (Location 439)

people who thought outside of the prevailing paradigm and embraced new strategic options that others had dismissed. These were people who saw that the old rules were expiring and embraced a new path. (Location 441)

Over the Past Several Decades, Companies Have Primarily Built Competitive Advantage with Four Familiar Strategies 1. Achieve customer captivity. 2. Secure preferential access to resources. 3. Build economies of scale. 4. Adopt best practices. (Location 779)

Among successful innovators, two of the traditional strategies (economies of scale and best practices) are fading into the background and being replaced with completely new ones. For anyone who hopes to grow a company, the implications are profound. (Location 788)

1. Move early to the next battleground. 2. Coordinate the uncoordinated. (Location 795)

3. Force two-front battles. 4. Be good. 5. Create something out of nothing. (Location 798)

“Price is a proxy for quality,” says Adams. “When you make a promise that people will learn and you charge $300, then you really must deliver.” (Location 904)

The fish out of water has no other fish to contend with. (Location 913)

Along the way they leave behind barriers that frustrate competitors' efforts to follow: they change their hiring practices, introduce a new distribution model, build a social network of language learners, and start locking up an army of language tutors. And they pursue being good, while others choose between profit and social aims. (Location 946)

But Rosetta Stone complicates such efforts by weaving together their positioning with a long list of interlocking strategic decisions. If a competitor wants to copy just one element of its strategy, it must make many disruptive changes, and the cost of copying is raised exponentially. (Location 950)

Winners are the ones who understand how to turn battleground shifts into an advantage. Sometimes that means leading. Sometimes that means following. Sometimes that means staying away from the next battleground altogether. (Location 965)

They take short-term news, project it into the future, and each time think that the whole world has changed. (Location 2648)