Why not to shoot for being the next Uber or Amazon

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

I hear it all the time: 

We want to be the next Uber … or Amazon … or somebody else that is successful in a newer niche. 

But what if it’s not about being the next somebody else? What if we just focus on being a better and more succeful version of ourselves?

It’s doable. I’m thinking back on the Joe Montana era with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. One of the best quarterbacks ever and when he left he was replaced by Steve Young, who then made a name for himself. Today, Young might be even more top of mind due to his television analyst roles. He was the Steve Young and not the next Joe Montana. 

But trying to  emulate somebody else’s success gives us the perception of structure, which is likely why people want to just model their success after somebody else’s.

Here’s how Uber has done it. Let’s copy that and do it better. But better isn’t often better. Uber already exists. So does Amazon. 

But can we use some elements from other successes? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean we strive to be version 2.0 of them. That’s likely in their plan, too.  Shoot for version 2.0 of yourself. 

Focus on what your own unique differentiator is in the market place. Tell a story around around that. Be customer-centric and helpful. 

Unique differentiator + shared story + continuous improvement + customer focus = success unique to you 

Being unique can be hard – especially since many of us are trained to work on fitting in and following the established process. 

Being unique and becoming a better you ultimately is much more sustainable than copying somebody else. 

So how do we do that? Here’s a guiding checklist:

  1. Determine your value proposition. What are you trying to help your customer-base with and do you have that skill?

  2. Share your knowledge – so people know what your expertise is. Continuous relevant storytelling is a great marketing tool. 
  3. Be helpful. 
  4. Innovate in ways that helps your customers first. (That’s why Amazon and Uber are successful!)
  5. Keep going and be nimble. Adjust continuously when needed. 

At a high level, this is the process I follow when it comes to authentic storytelling content marketing. It’s so easy to want to copy others, even for me. I see somebody doing that appears to be successful and I wonder: “oh, I should do that.”

But then I take a step back and evaluate if it has anything to do with my mission and value proposition. If it does, I might try pieces. If it doesn’t, I’ll move forward without it.