Have you ever found yourself using a produce or service and said to yourself, “I have no idea what I would do without this?” Think about it. What would you do on the internet if you were looking for something and Google didn’t exist? What would you do if you wanted to get a product delivered to your house and Amazon wasn’t around? What if you wanted to post pictures of yourself online for all the world to see and Instagram wasn’t available?
It’s not as though we absolutely, 100% need all of these products and services in our lives but that’s not the point. The point is that there are platforms out there who are bar none the first places you think of when you need something in particular in your life.
I don’t know about you but in addition to saying “I have no idea what I’d do without this” I constantly find myself saying, “man, I wish I had invented this” when it comes to these products and services. Which is to say that when you are the platform that people depend on rather than depending on the platform, it’s extraordinarily powerful.
In other words, when you are the source, you have the greatest chance at having a highly successful business.
If you’re not the source you are vulnerable
If you want to thrive in the business world it’s better to be the source than the one dependent on the source. So if you use the examples above, rather than get deliveries using Amazon, your business should strive to be Amazon. Rather than using Instagram to upload your pictures and share them to the world, why not be an Instagram?
Look, I’m not saying this is easy. By no means is it easy. I’m also not saying you can’t depend on another platform to have a successful business. In fact in my own business, I depend on Google, Facebook, and a whole host of other sites to drive traffic to my websites. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a platform to help your business grow.
But I will say this. And this needs to be said again and again. When you do depend on a platform, you are at the mercy of that platform. You must follow their rules and you must put up with it when they change those rules. In fact sometimes the changing of certain rules can destroy a business and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. You must make peace with that. If you don’t, then it’s your own fault when something goes wrong. It’s not their fault.
Being a source: big or small
Also, when I say that you should be the source, I’m not pushing everyone reading this to be the next Amazon. In fact I know my own tolerance and personality which frankly would not lend itself too well to being the CEO of a trillion dollar empire.
You don’t have to have a giant business to be the source of something. You can be an authority on a given subject that people rely on as the end all be all for answers to their questions. You can be the only restaurant in town that serves a certain kind of food. You can be the only manufacturer of a specific type of paper good that businesses rely on.
Whatever the product or idea is, your goal is to be the place that’s most heavily relied on. You want to be that product or service where people say to themselves, “I don’t know what I’d do without that.”
If you are in that position, it’s probably the most bulletproof position you can be in from a business standpoint.
Don’t forget to innovate and evolve
One side note to add to all of this. Just because people rely on you one year for something, doesn’t mean they’ll rely on you year after year, especially if the competition catches up to you or even gets better than you. Which is to say your business should always be innovating and always be evolving so that you constantly have something that people not only need, but rely on.
So remember folks, be the source. It’s bulletproof if done right.