Getting market share is actually one of the easiest things to do in business. It may not seem that way.
In fact, when you’re in the process of doing it, it can seem like an unending treadmill of tediousness and frustration. You have a great product which is cheaper and has five better features that the nearest competitor, yet you just can’t seem to get adoption. Is it the company, the product, or the corporate mentality?
In truth, the way a business approaches this acquisition of a share of a market forms one of the fundamental principles of the company itself, determining whether they are born from creativity or competition and, in my experience, defining whether they are ultimately focused on getting wealthy or creating prosperity.
When there is a focus based solely around competition, companies are built which lives and breathe solely to be one step ahead of competitors. This type of mentality inherently establishes a corporate culture based around one-upmanship and doesn’t lend itself to sustainability because the entire existence of the business is predicated on being one step better than someone else and this means constantly running across a bridge that is falling down behind them.
These are the knock-off brands, not built to innovate, but to compete, whether on price point, or feature set. Their focus therefore, is not on being the best solution for the marketplace or striving to continue solving pain points for consumers, but simply on staying ahead.
The desire to participate in conscious capitalism is inherent in teams made up of creators with a desire to improve the lives of their users. Sure, all companies want to make money, that’s a given, but when you create in service to a market, to make that market better, you intrinsically make the life of your customer better which is generally rewarded with their appreciation and support. For companies focused on creation therefore, gaining market share and/or market momentum, while not commonly a focus, is commonly a result.
In this vein, Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” mantra served as an ideological rallying point for early customers and shareholders. The company undoubtedly prioritised improving people’s experience over simply looking to steal them from a competitor and in doing so, redefined their industry.
People and Profit
Many startups struggle with the ability to prioritize being of service first to people, or to profit. The end goal of a business is to make money, to make sure the color at the bottom of the balance sheet is black, not red. This doesn’t mean however that profit focused businesses need to abandon people, and people-focused companies need to work with the lights off.
People are the lifeblood of a company, both internally and externally. Without their focus, attention, blood, sweat and tears, a company isn’t worth founding. Without their support, a company isn’t worth money.
Conscious capitalism is about being in service first to people and the marketplace and by doing so, building a sustainable startup. Innovation at its best is about redefining the human experience and companies that thrive on solving pain points, or increasing efficiencies in people’s lives, build their business for reasons beyond a desire to simply make a profit. Instead they look to grow the entire marketplace and create far wider prosperity.
The truth remains, 10% of a billion dollar market is a hell of lot more valuable than 100% of a million dollar one.