Facebook didn't have to be better than Myspace, they were different and ultimately won.
Spotify didn't have to be better than Pandora, they were different and are now conquering.
Bing tried being better than Google... Does anyone here Bing anything? No. You Google it.
Monitor your competition and find the gaps. You don't have to battle for quality; tailor your brand/product or your belief system to the people who aren't finding it in your competition. Being perceptive is one of the biggest keys to being an entrepreneur or successful in any personal pursuit you have. Be perceptive of other people's wants, of your competitions pitfalls, of the people who don't like your competition's pain-points and capitalize all of them.
Just as Samsung is capitalizing off of what Apple doesn't do and Apple capitalized off of what Microsoft didn't do.
Another great example is Darling Magazine. There was no publication out there that acted as an honest guidebook to women. Other publications promoted changing something about yourself and focused on outer beauty. Darling set out to be different. They have succeeded beautifully.
With Kinfolk Magazine, they set out to be different that had an essence no other publication possessed. There are plenty of publications that write about dinner 'how-to's;' How to set dinner tables and decorate for a romantic setting etc. Those magazines wrote about how to cook the appropriate meals and how to present it as Martha Stewarty as possible. Kinfolk filled a space that wasn't being filled. They created a publication that was really less about the food that was being cooked and more about the people you filled the room with. They have succeeded magnificently.
It's difficult to try to stand out in this day in age by just battling on quality. You have to stand out to be noticed, you have to think about what you have that others don't. There is always room to be different. To be yourself. Take a category that has been tried and tested and apply what people want. Where there is demand, you form supply. Put it out there and you will succeed. It’s basic economics.
Photograph by Laura Dart