American Idol is all about competition.
Idol’s version of Boot Camp has been airing the last couple of episodes and viewers have been treated to watching sleep-deprived semi-talented singers, fall off the stage, pass-out and throw-up in every conceivable receptacle. I’m having trouble determining why this entertains us.
I understand the notion of boot camp. Every industry has a strict code of dues-paying. Nothing is easy. The music industry is loaded with talented people each seeking their moment in the spotlight. Competition is fierce.
We are taught at a young age that competition is a way of life. I remember competing in elementary school to become a school patrol crossing guard. I was seven years old. I’ve been in competition ever since. I went through a phase in which I believe all competitors pass through. I thought that competitors were bad for my business. My instincts were to fight competition, to reign victorious and celebrate their losses and my wins. I thought more about what my competitors were doing than focusing on our own internal strategy.
In the battleground of broadcast advertising I learned that competitors were friends. They didn’t know it but I rooted for their success. I sent business to them on several occasions. I even allowed employees to transfer and work for them. I didn’t worry about non-compete clauses in a contract.
I learned that competitors bring customers into my industry. I learned that my competitors didn’t focus on servicing their current customers as much as they did the acquisition of new customers. I learned that competitors couldn’t steal my customers if did my job.
I can only fear losing that which I am not serving. If I’m not taking care of customers, all the world is my competitor.
Competitors make us better. Monopolistic businesses prove that point in their callous handling of customers. The greatest battleground for #1 companies in any industry is internal complacency and corporate ego.
Bootcamps drive competitors. Competitors help us define the height of high.
Without strong competition, I may never throw-up.