Be a Game-Changer

Vaynerchuk, February 2014 SUCCESS

Stop playing the game.
Change the game.

Bringing your shade of vanilla to the market is no longer acceptable. You are going to have to add some chili pepper or foie gras (seriously, try Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream in San Francisco).

Today everyone can be an entrepreneur.
But to win—win big, that is—you can’t just join the game that has been running for 20 years… heck, not even the last five.

You have to disrupt the game.
You have to innovate, create and change the game entirely.

The über-successful achievers on SUCCESS magazine covers are game-changers. They didn’t join the status quo; they disrupted it—big time.

Consider our three latest cover entrepreneurs—Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Hsieh and Ryan Seacrest. They all achieved their extraordinary successes because they saw the game and changed it.

Today’s entrepreneur must ask herself or himself the all-important question, What would it take for me to be a game-changer in my industry?

Ask yourself, What would it take for me to be a game-changer in my industry?

Here are five key ways you can stop playing the game and start changing it:

Solution. Start with what people want. Don’t invent something no one cares about. You have to add value where pain or a need exists. Then change the game by providing the solution (e.g., Netflix vs. Blockbuster, Starbucks vs. Folgers, Pandora vs. radio).

Process. How can your method of sourcing, manufacturing, designing, engineering or delivery change the game in your industry (Dell Direct vs. retail, Amazon vs. bookstores, green builders and designers vs. traditional ones, Tesla’s high-performance electric cars vs. other vehicles)?

Communication. Can the way you interact with your clients change the game? Can you humanize your contact and connection with your market (Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Seacrest’s tweets to more than 12   million   followers)?

Marketing and message. Can you be a “white knight” to your industry or society (TOMS shoes, Starbucks, Warby Parker, Kenneth Cole, Dove)? Can you be clever enough to game-change the conversation in the marketplace (Ben & Jerry’s, Old Spice, Hyundai)?

Technology. Being first to adopt sweeping new technologies can also make you a game-changer: mobile wallet, mobile applications, social media, tablet computing, real-time Internet, streaming video, virtual malls/shopping, 3-D printing, Big Data, etc.

Oh, and for those who already are game-changers in their industries, it’s best that you change your own game before it changes on you.

Apple is a great example. The company’s iPod was a game-changer for personal music devices. But the game has changed on the iPod. Sales have fallen dramatically as it was disrupted by… the smartphone. Apple isn’t reeling from waning iPod sales, though—the company’s iPhone set the standard for the disrupting new device, and iPhone profits far exceed revenue lost on iPods.

It’s best to self-disrupt if you want to stay in the game.

I don’t want to let you off easy here. I really want to encourage, prod and push you to think about how you can be the game changer in your industry. Again, it’s likely that if you don’t initiate and lead the change, someone else will and the marketplace might be pulled right from underneath your feet.

I am so committed to helping you strategically think through this important issue that I prepared an entire diagnostic and worksheet you can use to evaluate all current trends and how they might apply to your industry or business. As well as a series of well thought through questions for you to consider that might help you discover how you can become the disruptive, game changing force in your industry.

The Disruptive Marketing Diagnostic will be sent in the email update feed with next weeks blog post. If you are not already subscribed to email updates, click here to do so.

What are you doing to be a game-changer in your industry? Tell us in the comments below.



4 responses to “Be a Game-Changer”

  1. Excellent post Darren.

    What are you doing to be a game-changer in your industry?

    We’ve created a competitive advantage in the construction industry by embracing social media. We’re increasing retention by connecting with the families of our employees, we’re attracting talented people from our competitors, and our brand continues to be a beacon of light throughout the communities that we serve all through Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google +

  2. Thanks Darren for this game changing post. I’m so inspired.

    God bless.

    PS: Please Darren, can you get your developers to work on the Android app. Its no game changer yet. The latest edition don’t get updated, I need to uninstall and reinstall before getting the latest edition.

    That’s wastage of data right here in Nigeria. Please show us some love by working on this.


  3. I was wondering where I can find the marketing tools that where mentioned at the end of this months cd? I didn’t get an email with the links & I’m on the email list.

  4. Hi Darren. My game changer was to introduce a disposable sanitary bin into a very tight commercial sanitary bin industry. I have been slowly converting companies, education, hospitality and industry to getting their own cleaning company to administer the instalation and removal of the Disbin disposable sanitary bins. I’m slowly gaining clients in Australia and further afield but I’m a one-woman-band. I follow your blogs and enjoy what you write.
    Helen Mays
    Disbin Ltd New Zealand