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  • Jeremy Tan

Unique Product or Unique Team?

The blue ocean strategy talks about that perfectly unique product, that catches fire when introduced into the market. The Apple Ipod, Ipod touch, Airpods, Bobby backpacks etc. These are blue ocean products that attracts sales numbers because its unique and specials. It's also a reason why Indiegogo and Kickstarter are revolutionary sites! They showcase unique products which are often unique and game-changers.


However, how often do we think of these perfect ideas and products? And even if you do, how long does it take before a competitor steps in to duplicate that product and sell it much cheaper?


In my opinion and through validations from various successful leaders, the key to a sustainable and successful business, is in a unique team. A team of colleagues keen to pursue the mission of the organisation and do the best they can to utilize their strengths! A happy, motivated team with an average product, will produce better more sustainable business than a disgruntled team with an amazing product!


What we need to understand is a motivated team will make all parts of the organisation amazing, from marketing to customer service to sales and after sales! Customers will be attracted albeit at a slower pace with a non-unique product but good energy breeds referrals, reviews and multi-platform recommendations! Word of mouth marketing is one of the most convincing and validation points customers can provide.


In comparison, a great one-of-a kind product might fall off shelves during introduction just because of global consumer curiosity. However, in the longer term, a team of unmotivated and poor hires, who are serving customers without empathy and dedication, providing abysmal marketing, sales and after sales will result in a lack of sustainable business revenue and long term growth.


For current leaders and future leaders of great organisations, be sure to hire slow and fire fast. Make the best efforts to make 70% of your hires the right ones, and you will be able to do well even though you made awful hiring decisions 30% of your time. The 70% of the population will take care of the organisation, and you in turn will have time to think how better to take care of them.


My perfect example comes from hires I have made myself. I personally vouch for making the best hiring decisions in 50% of the people I gave a thumbs up to( I am still yet to get to the 70% mark) who are willing identify and give maximal efforts for organisational triumph! They view reward as a by-product to personal and organisational actualization! However on the contrary, the poor hiring decisions have also shown me the amount of wasted time and effort used to re-align missions and objectives to a lost cause. These are hires there for a job, to make a decent living and to pay for their bills at your expense and energy.


To conclude, as a leader its more important to hire right than to have the right product at a right time. The right people can take average products in the amazing places and provide organisational breakthrough channeling through momentum! Now think about that next hire and what you really want vs what you really need!





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